For a few minutes in the final game of the season, the Spurs are going to roll out most of their A-List team and get them a little run.
Manu Ginobili will return to play some limited run for the Spurs Wednesday night when they take on Minnesota in an otherwise meaningless game (the Spurs are locked in as the West’s two seed, the Timberwolves can board a flight to Mexico to start their summer vacations after the game.).
But the Spurs will not play Tracy McGrady. That could be a while.
Gregg Popovich plans to play all his stars a few minutes, tweets Jeff McDonald of the Express-News.
Ginobili, meanwhile, will play limited minutes tonight vs Minnesota. Had missed 9 games with hamstring strain.
What all this means is that the Spurs are getting healthy for the playoffs — which is very bad news for Warriors, Rockets or Lakers, the three teams that could see them in the first round. The fact is the Spurs level of defense and discipline is likely to overwhelm any of those teams in the first round, those teams only real hope was the Spurs were not right.
As for McGrady, Popovich called him an “insurance policy” and said it may be a little while before he sees the court.
Tracy McGrady will not play tonight, Pop says. Might be a few weeks, he says.
“I see you,” he said. “I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it.”
“I think that the most important thing that I strive to live by is extremely by truth and by consistently giving others the truth, without any judgement, without constraints, without anything extra except the understanding that I see you,” he said. “I have family members who come from knowing energy, and it was passed along to me.”
Rose has been out with what seemed like a relative minor, for him at least, ankle injury. The 29-year-old could stick in the league for a while thanks to his reputation and ability to attack the rim to create shots for himself. But the guard is a shell of peak form after years of more serious injuries. This isn’t the career anyone expected for him when he was named the youngest MVP ever in 2011.
The Suns made Mike James – a 27-year-old rookie on a two-way contract – their starting point guard.
Though he eventually ceded the role to Tyler Ulis, James – the only player on a two-way contract to start an NBA game – is still a rotation regular. He’s an aggressive defender and possesses plenty of offensive moves.
The problem: Unless demoted to Phoenix’s minor-league affiliate before then, he’ll max out the 45 allowable NBA days for a two-way player Dec. 6.
We’d still like to get him on the 15-man roster and we’re looking at different ways to do that.
The Suns can unilaterally convert James’ two-contract into a standard one-year minimum deal. Both sides could also negotiate a longer contract.
The bigger issue is clearing a roster spot.
Phoenix has the maximum 15 players with standard contracts with no obvious cuts. Derrick Jones Jr. doesn’t play much, but the 20-year-old’s athleticism creates intriguing upside. Second-rounder Davon Reed is hurt, though teams rarely cut bait so quickly.