Stern Fines Gregg Popovich, Spurs For Sitting Stars
By: Kyle Caso @3_pointz
Imagine you pay $400 to go see your favorite basketball team play and the top four players on that team are on a plane heading home. Im sure you'd be pretty pissed off. Thursday november 29th the Spurs faced of against the Heat missing there top 4 players and started Patrick Mills, Nando De Colo, Tiago Splitter, Matt Boner, Boris Diaw. Now thats like a throwing a 7 year old into a shark tank to be eaten alive. It was Gregg Popovich's decision to send his four top players home while Spurs took on the Heat who are 10-0 at home so far.
To the entire worlds surprise the the Spurs actually made a game out of it. Splitter, Neal and De Colo combined for 53 points along with James Anderson acting as a spark plug in the third quarter. There was a total of 27 lead changes in the game and the Spurs had the game in there hands in the fourth. They went up by 5 with 2 minuets left to go in the 4th. From that point on Lebron James took control of the game scoring a bucket and getting 2 assist one of which was to Ray Allen who had 20 points and that shot gave them the lead with 20 seconds left to go. The Heat ended up winning by 5 points.
November 30th friday afternoon David Stern fined the Spurs organization $250,000 for sitting there top players. Gregg Popovich claims that he was doing whats right for the team and that it was the fourth game in five nights and he was gona rest his players for the Memphis game.
There are two sides to this story. First off, Gregg Popovich could have rested his guys the night before against the Orlando Magic "who are marked as one of the worst teams in the league" but he decided to rest his guys against the defending Champion Miami Heat. Is it that he felt they couldn't beat the Heat with there full squad? i doubt it. The Spurs are amongst the top teams in the West. Plus why should the Spurs have to play 4 games on the road in 5 nights?
Gregg had the right to give his players a breather that night. Maybe it was the best thing to do, Maybe he should have rested one of those guys and not all of them but in Gregg Popovich's defense, there's nothing in the rule book that say's you can't rest your players at any time of the year.