Duncan, Parker among 4 Spurs vs. Miami
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Gregg Popovich is paid to win championships, not regular-season games in November.
The San Antonio Spurs coach has taken that decree to a new level, allowing Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green to skip Thursday night’s game at the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in favor of flying back to rest fo Saturday’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Heat game is the 12th road game of the month and sixth in eight days for San Antonio.
With small forward Kawhi Leonard out because of a left knee injury, the Spurs will lack their top five scorers for the 8 p.m. ET game on TNT.
From the San Antonio Express-News:
The four were spotted on a Southwest flight making a pre-lunch escape from central Florida. … In retrospect, Popovich was probably hinting at the decision to come before Wednesday’s game in Orlando, when he admitted the most road-heavy November in team history was taking its toll on his players. “We’re getting tired,” Popovich said. “We’ve had a six-day trip and a 10-day trip. Usually you don’t have that in one month.”
Popovich sat Duncan, Parker and Ginobili together three times last season, according to the Express-News, and has limited their minutes this year. No Spur plays more than Parker’s 31.7 minutes a game.