Coach Gregg Popovich was up to his usual antics Thursday night as the Spurs prepared to go up against the reigning NBA champion Heat in Miami in the second set of back-to-back games in five nights. He sent his Big 3 and another starter back to San Antonio to rest up for a weekend game against division rival Memphis.
Pity the poor Heat fans who paid good money to see stars Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker play for San Antonio. Or what about Spurs fans who happened to purchase tickets to the game in Miami? Oh yeah, it's also a nationally televised game on TNT.
The NBA reportedly will levy "substantial sanctions" for San Antonio's actions, according to a tweet from one ESPN reporter. The All-Star trio has played between 11 and 16 seasons. Danny Green, a relative pup with only a couple seasons of experience, was also sent home.
"Everybody has to make decisions about their schedule, about players playing and back-to-backs and trips and that sort of thing," Popovich said. "In our case, this month we've had 11 away games. We've had an eight-day trip and a 10-day trip, and we're ending it with four [games] in five nights here. I think it'd be unwise to be playing our guys in that kind of a situation, given their history."