Spurs’ Tim Duncan to sit out Monday night against Philadelphia

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Gregg Popovich has learned his lesson — there will be a “medical reason” Tim Duncan has to sit out Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs take on the Philadelphia 76ers.

But we all know the real reason is this is the Spurs fifth game in seven days and it is never too early for Popovich to start resting his players. Jim McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News broke the story.

Boris Diaw will start in his place.

Last year Popovich got the Spurs fined $250,000 for sending Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all home before a nationally televised game against the Heat to get his stars rest. The result around the league is teams just making up an injury or going with a “DNP-Coach’s Decision” when they want to rest guys. Nobody wants to pay another fine.

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Dwyane Wade has sat out a game to rest, now Duncan has and there will be a lot more guys getting nights off over the course of a long NBA season.