The San Antonio Spurs got off to a quick start to the season as they sit at the top of the Western Conference with a 9-1 record.
The team, led by Gregg Popovich, has been playing some good basketball on both ends of the court as of late, but it can’t be overlooked that the core of this roster is mainly composed out of veteran players, so the extra rest came on a perfect time for the likes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
The days off will surely have a great impact on the team’s performance later in the season.
After defeating the Utah Jazz this past Friday, the Spurs won’t return to the action until next Wednesday where they’ll host the Boston Celtics. These four days without games might affect some teams, but it will do the complete opposite for the Spurs as Popovich is usually keen on sitting their stars early in the season to have them fresh come playoff time.
With Duncan, Ginobili and Parker resting for four days, the Spurs are making sure they can have them back at full strength to take on the Celtics this Wednesday. The other players in the rotation are all much younger and have enough energy to recover quickly, but it pays off every time the Spurs allow their stars a few days off.
Popovich started using this tactic last season and even though it cost him a $250K fine for sitting the ‘Big Three’ against the Miami Heat, it paid off in the end as the Spurs reached the NBA Finals only to lose against LeBron James and company on seven games. The Spurs are determined to have revenge this season and there’s no reason why they won’t repeat the same tactic.
And having four days off ‘just because’ can only increase the team’s chances early in the season.