Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/17/12
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

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Report: Chris Sale incident had to do with team executives

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

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

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker