Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/17/14
While San Antonio Spurs fans are sweating a brief Kawhi Leonard injury (out 10-14 days according to the Spurs), this injury may be a blessing in disguise for the team to try out more rotations with their abundance of guards. I'm sure head coach Gregg Popovich plays plenty of different lineups against each other during practices, but nothing is like a real NBA game. The bigger question is: What does coach Pop do with his starting small forward position going forward and how will it effect the rest of the team? The frustrating part for him is that he has more options than most coaches would:   Start Stephen Jackson: It seems like the likely scenario. He's a defensive minded 3-point shooting guard-forward who backs up... a player with the same mindset. Pop starting Jackson wouldn't change anything with the Spurs' starting unit, maybe with more plays being run Jackson's way than Leonard would. With him starting, that would leave the second unit strictly to Ginobili and Patty Mills. The big hole Jackson leaves isn't in the small forward role, but in the power forward position. He's been spotting Leonard from the bench but also playing the 4-position for good amounts of minutes so far in the season. Jackson starting would force Pop's hand to play Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair, and Boris Diaw together more and next to Tim Duncan than he has this season. We may even have a Matt Bonner sighting too! This would be mainly to not have an encore of a tired Spurs team heading into the fourth quarter and running out of gas like they did against the Knicks. This move would push De Colo to second string behind Green with Gary Neal being injured also. Start Manu Ginobili: A familiar sight to Spurs fans and something Pop decides to do every now and then when he sees his starting unit in trouble. Manu has been playing small forward in some minutes this season while Mills and Neal have been on the floor with him, so he's not a stranger to this position at all. The Spurs' starting unit would get a huge boost offensively, if his back isn't bothering him too much, and defensively he's been a workhorse. The problem the Spurs may run into starting Ginobili is the second unit will be left with Patty Mills and Stephen Jackson if Pop's current rotation is kept in tact. Mills is a burst of energy and can score/shoot when given the opportunity, but that would probably be it for that unit. Diaw has been struggling these past few games and Jackson isn't a guy who can run the offense consistently anymore like he used to in Golden State. This move would likely have Pop subbing in and out for a few stretches to keep one or two of the "Big 3" on the court at all times.   Start Patty Mills: This may seem insane to some Spurs fans, but remember: Pop isn't a stranger to a two-point guard backcourt. In recent years, we saw a Parker/TJ Ford backcourt when Ford was in a Spurs uniform and Parker has also shared the court with Gary Neal this season and in the past. This move would provide a quick backcourt with some defense as Mills isn't too shabby, even in a position that he's not fully accustomed to. Patty starting would push Green to the small forward spot and have De Colo, Ginobili, Jackson, Diaw, and probably Splitter off the bench (a second unit that would be worthy of starting for a few teams in the NBA).   Start Nando De Colo: This move wouldn't surprise me at all, even though it's unlikely. Why would Pop start a rookie guard from overseas on a team that's playing to win it all this year? If Nando starts, he would have veteran leadership around him in Tony Parker and Tim Duncan while having Danny Green to take the load off of him to score. With De Colo's many intangibles and skills, he'd have no pressure to produce with this unit while bringing more to the table than Green would in the two-position. This move would leave Pop's bench in tact and with no problems with chemistry. He may not be the best defender, but he doesn't have to be locking his man down 1-on-1 if he's got help from Duncan (and Splitter if Tiago starts).   With these possibilities (and more, even a million to one chance Boris Diaw plays small forward like he used to in Phoenix), the Spurs are capable of shuffling a lineup and keeping in tact a balanced offensive attack while still being able to defend superstars on teams like Andre Iguadola in tonight's game vs. the Denver Nuggets. A team that has already had half a season and training camp to build chemistry while being led by a veteran coach can still expect its fans to believe in a winning formula, even if it's injury ridden for a few games.   What do you have to say Spurs fans? Which player should Pop turn to with Kawhi out for a while?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

James Harden wants some help in the backcourt

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Women’s World Cup power rankings: Which teams have the best shot at hoisting the trophy?

NBA Finals: A series 39 years in the making

WATCH: San Diego State player steals home to seal win

St. Thomas pitcher Ben Ancheff takes internet by storm

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.