Popovoch decides to sit Duncan, Parker, Ginobili Monday vs. Jazz


Not one. Not two. But three.

In a very Gregg Popovich move, the Spurs coach will set all of his big three — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — Monday night when San Antonio takes on Utah in the second game of a home-and-home and back-to-back, according to a tweet from Mike Monroe of the Express News.

This comes despite the Spurs having an 11-game winning streak. (Popovich already sat Duncan and Parker when the Spurs were on an 11-game winning streak this season; they lost that game.) It comes with the Spurs being a virtual tie at the top of the Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It comes without concern for the fans in Utah who paid for the tickets on the second night of a home-and-home.

This is about Popovich seeing the big picture — he needs his older stars rested for the playoffs. He has younger players such as DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal who keep Monday’s game competitive. There’s a real logic to it. So, when did Popovich decide to do this?

“Pretty much when schedule came out”

Then there was this very Popovich moment in pregame interviews, from Popovich’s pregame media availability, via the twitter of Brian Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Asked “keys to the game” for second consecutive contest vs. Jazz, Popovich didn’t hold back. Said it was BS. “Make up what you want.”

The Jazz will be without C.J. Miles and Earl Watson due to injuries.

Gregg Popovich has started the mind games for the NBA Playoffs early

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“Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan are totally going to play. 100%. Yup. Going to get some work in. You just wait. No changes to the starting lineup. “


The Spurs and Mavericks are likely to meet in the first round starting this weekend, and as such, Gregg Popovich decided to mess with the Mavericks a bit. Instead of just pulling his starters well before the game, like you would figure he would, Popovich listed the Big 3 in the starting lineup. Right up until about five minutes before game time, at which point he scratched them and George Hill, DeJuan Blair, and Roger Mason Jr. joined the starters.

The Spurs could still move up with a win and a Portland loss to Golden State, but, well, you know. Golden State rabble rabble no defense yakety schmakety, couldn’t stop a stiff breeze with the Great Wall of China, yada yada.

So instead the Spurs elected to tweak the Mavs, just a bit, and then concede. It shows confidence on one hand, to be fine with facing the Mavericks who eliminated them last year in the playoffs. But if Popovich’s previous comments are any indication, he’s just happy it’s not LA waiting for him this weekend.