Boston had a “Big Three” of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. Boston won three NBA championships with the “Big Three” in 1981, 1984 and 1986. San Antonio has Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. San Antonio won three NBA championships with their “Big Three” in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
On Feb. 11, 2013, San Antonio faced the Chicago Bulls. San Antonio did not have Duncan, Ginobili and Parker available to play. Likewise, Chicago did not have Derrick Rose or Kirk Hinrich available to play.
San Antonio’s starting lineup consisted of Nando de Colo, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter. There were no all-stars (current or former) in this starting lineup, nor did any suit up for San Antonio during this game.
The same cannot be said for Chicago. They had Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah in their starting lineup. All of these players have been all-stars in their NBA careers.
San Antonio’s bench consisted of DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills and Gary Neal. By having five players in double figures, San Antonio beat Chicago 103-89. Leonard led San Antonio with 26 points and four rebounds. Other players who stepped up for San Antonio included Danny Green with 18 points. Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter added 16 points each.
It should come as no surprise that San Antonio delivered a wake-up call to Chicago and the rest of the NBA. San Antonio has a history of smart draft picks. Their front office is one of the best ones in the entire league; however, I think that the Los Angeles Lakers have the best management in the league. I still marvel over the Vlade Divac/Kobe Bryant trade with the Charlotte Hornets in 1996. Talk about being hoodwinked!
The NBA has fined San Antonio head coach Greg Poppovich for resting his “Big Three” in the past. I believe that this was unfair. No harm was done. It is not like Poppovich is conceding defeat, and this victory against Chicago without them says a lot about the moxy of the San Antonio Spurs.