Posted December 01, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made a seemingly logical decision to sit four of his top players at the end of a six-game road trip to better prepare for a showdown with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The organization now has a lighter wallet because of it.
Despite NBA commissioner David Stern's controversial penalty, San Antonio's core will be well-rested Saturday night when it hosts surging Memphis.
After the Spurs (13-4) defeated Orlando on Wednesday, Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home on a commercial flight to rest before the remainder of the team faced Miami in a nationally televised contest Thursday night.
''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 (in Miami). I think it'd be unwise to be playing our guys in that kind of a situation, given their history.
''Perhaps it'll give us an opportunity to stay on the court with Memphis on Saturday night."
Stern didn't agree, saying Popovich's decision was "unacceptable" and ''contrary to the best interests of the NBA" while apologizing to the league's fans before Wednesday's game.
He fined the organization $250,000 on Thursday despite many around the league defending Popovich's decision.
''The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case,'' Stern said. ''The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team's only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way.''
San Antonio delivered a solid performance anyway, leading into the final minute of the fourth quarter before falling 105-100 to end a five-game winning streak.
Gary Neal scored 20 points off the bench while Matt Bonner added 10 and 10 rebounds.
''Oh, it would have been great if we won,'' Bonner said. "We have faith in everybody on our roster. We think we have one of the deepest teams in the league.''
The Spurs haven't commented on the penalty and have seemed to turn their attention to the first meeting with the Grizzlies since sweeping last season's four-game season series.
Coach Lionel Hollins also didn't comment on Popovich's decision and the ensuing fine, but Memphis (12-2) seems more than prepared for the Southwest Division showdown after winning the final four of its five-game homestand with Friday's 90-78 victory over Detroit.
Rudy Gay finished with a game-high 18 points while Marc Gasol (11 rebounds) and Mike Conley scored 17 apiece.
''We played a lot of good teams in this homestand, and in the last few weeks,'' Conley said. ''For us to get this win, is huge for what we stand for, and that's just one game at a time and being ready for each individual opponent.''
Memphis tied a season best for points allowed and ranks first in the NBA defensively, yielding 90.1 per game.
''I'm happy we were ahead and our defense was still strong," Hollins said.
The Grizzlies have won four straight on the road since a season-opening loss at the Los Angeles Clippers, but they've dropped 14 of their last 15 regular-season games in San Antonio.
Duncan scored 28 points and added 12 rebounds in the Spurs' 107-97 home victory in the most recent meeting April 12.
BEST OF MAXIM
Last night there were only two NBA games, both of which were televised on TNT, the first game of the double-header was the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. It was touted to be an entertaining game, although the common narrative is the Spurs are just a boring team, there was some fan fare [...]The post Gregg Popovich Made The Best Decision For HIS Team appeared first on The NBA Mistress.
MAD AS HELL
NBA Commissioner David Stern is irate that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sat San Antonio's three stars for Thursday night's nationally televised game against the Heat.
Gregg Popovich said Saturday night he doesn't know if the San Antonio Spurs will appeal a $250,000 fine from the NBA for sending his star players home to rest instead of playing them against the Miami Heat.
Speaking publicly for the first time since NBA Commissioner David Stern handed down the stiff penalty Friday, the Spurs coach and team president said he was ''disappointed...
The NBA stood up and fined the San Antonio Spurs $250k for the stunt that head coach Greg Popovich pulled by withholding his primary stars from a nationally televised game.
Please Click Here To Read This Story
TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley conducted a quick sideline interview with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich before the start of the second quarter of Thursday night's NBA game against the Miami Heat.
Apparently Barkley was unaware that he was only allowed to ask two questions, so when Barkley attempted to ask a third question, Popovich had to politely inform...
Gregg Popovich will have nine active players.
When Gregg Popovich gives his best players a night off to rest, it's not uncommon for the San Antonio Spurs coach to get letters from upset fans.
This time, he's going to hear from an upset commissioner - even after Popovich's short-handed team nearly knocked off the Miami Heat.
Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left gave Miami the lead, LeBron James finished...
The San Antonio Spurs are a very good basketball team. They also happen to quite long in the tooth for NBA standards. Head coach Gregg Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green back to Texas rather than have them play in tonight’s nationally televised game against the defending champion, Miami Heat. [...]
Gregg Popovich sent his best players home, deciding they reached the end of the road before the trip was over.
San Antonio's game notes still listed Tim Duncan and Tony Parker as probable starters, when it was already definite they'd be long gone before the Spurs tipped off in Miami.
But to what extent?
Many were still wrestling with that one Friday...
MIAMI (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs will be punished by the NBA for their decision to send four top players home and not make them available to play in Miami against the Heat on Thursday night.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said the decision to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green -- the core of the Spurs -- was in the team's best interest. The league...
The NBA has fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 as a result of coach Gregg Popovich sending the teams stars home for a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat. Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, on a commercial flight home instead of playing them against the Miami Heat. Popovich wanted his starters to rest before Saturday's home...
Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Second wind
Maybe this is why Gregg Popovich wanted to save his best player's legs.
San Antonio needed every single one of Tony Parker's 30 points and six assists and every single one of Tim Duncan's 27 points and 15 rebounds to help force overtime and defeat Memphis...
San Antonio is playing at Miami on Thursday night without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, who were sent home by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to rest.
Duncan, Parker and Green are starters. Ginobili is the team's top reserve.
Popovich says the decision was made when he saw the schedule, and that it had nothing to do with facing the Heat. Thursday's...
San Antonio Spurs (13-3) vs. Miami Heat (10-3)
Um, so this game got a lot less interesting.
I mean, it might be fun to watch because Charles Barkley is calling the game, but Gregg Popovich's decision to send Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili home to end this road trip for San Antonio takes a lot of the juice out of this game. This is not a 13-3 Spurs...