The suicidal schedule of the post NBA lockout has teams playing three games within 72 hours, which is absolutely absurd. Many teams have rested their stars for one game, figuring it is better to lose one game than to lost them for the playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs tried a different approach and it worked out pretty well.
The Spurs decided to rest each star a different night, and it turned into three victories in three nights. Tony Parker sat out Friday night, Manu Ginobil Saturday, and Tim Duncan because he was “old” sat out last night. Yup, the box score had Duncan listed as “DND-OLD.” Don’t believe me? Check it out here. Duncan also received a technical foul for arguing from the bench.
The Miami Heat have also won three games in three days earlier this season, while the Oklahoma City Thunder were the first to do it just after the new year.
The Spurs were able to win their three games in three days by playing some fantastic defense. No team scored over 90 points, including a season low against the Spurs by the Philadelphia 76′ers last night with just 76. The Spurs forced fourteen second half turnovers that turned into quite a few easy buckets.
The Spurs are still just three games out of first place in the Western Conference, something that many thought would not be possible by this team. Once again, somehow, they are flying under the radar. Do not expect the Spurs to get the top seed, however, as they play 16 games in 23 days in April, including a back-to-back-to-back, in which it is almost guaranteed the combination of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili will not play.
Expect head coach Gregg Popovich to give his players plenty of rest in the coming month ahead. The playoffs start just two days after the season ends, so it is going to be a quick turn around. If the Spurs survive April without major injuries, do not be surprised by a deep playoff run.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM