The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors still have two regular-season meetings left before the postseason kicks off but don't expect head coach Gregg Popovich to play anyone says Tony Parker.
With the playoffs fast approaching, Pop has started to sit players as the regular season comes to a close. Against the Grizzlies and Thunder, Pop sat key players such as Tim Duncan, Parker, Manu Ginobili, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and others opting for rest for his players.
And as Parker stated in his French radio show, this is exactly what Pop has in mind versus the finals meetings with Golden State.
I think no one will play (versus the Warriors). To Pop (Gregg Popovich), the most important thing is that the players are rested for the playoffs. As for first place, he does not care.
For us, the end of the regular season is a good time to rest. That's why we play hard throughout the season, trying to win the most games possible, to find ourselves in this situation of "luxury," we are sure we will be the second seed and we can all rest before the playoffs.
Smart move on Pop's part if you ask me.
Consider this, the Warriors are gunning to break the Bulls record of 72 regular-season wins. They are playing their star players heavy minutes to break that record. For them, rest isn't as important. A record is. Though they are young, this may catch up with them in the postseason when the game goes to a whole other level. Granted, the playoffs do come with rest days between matches but to play at a high level from the regular season into the postseason will be a test for the defending champs.
And do you really think Pop cares if the Warriors win the regular-season series against the Spurs? I think not.
Of course, should Pop opt to rest players against the Warriors or any other team in these final regular-season games, there's a chance their perfect home record might be in jeopardy and the record of going a full season undefeated at home come to an end.
But if you think that concerns Pop, well you know the answer.
I think the most important thing for him (Popovich) is to win the NBA title. The record at home or games against Golden State, is not what interests him.
Indeed, the NBA crown is all that should matter to Pop and the team. Records come and go but to be called NBA champs is the ultimate prize.
Follow Jeff on Twitter at @JeffGSpursZone.