Why Did Popovich Sit Jackson, Blair?
Beginning the final three weeks of the NBA’s compressed schedule with back-to-back games against the Utah Jazz, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went with another lineup wrinkle designed to manage the minutes of key players.
After starting DeJuan Blair at center for the first 53 games, Popovich went with newcomer Boris Diaw in the middle for Sunday’s game at the AT&T Center.
Blair didn’t play at all, and neither did forward Stephen Jackson. Both were healthy and in uniform, but Popovich had told both players before tipoff to not plan on seeing any court time.
Veteran Spurs aren’t surprised by Popovich’s lineup tinkering.
“He’s doing his thing,” point guard Tony Parker said. “He’s trying to manage everybody. Tonight it was ‘Jack’ and DeJuan.
“He’s telling us before every game who’s not going to play. We all have to be ready.”