Gregg Popovich just loves to mess with David Stern.
The San Antonio Spurs will be resting both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili during their game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. This comes on top of Tony Parker being out with an injured shin, so the Spurs will be intentionally their “Big Three” in Oakland.
We’ve seen this deal before with Popovich and the Spurs. Just a year ago, he rested Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, and Danny Green in a nationally televised game against the Heat, and Stern slapped the Spurs with a $250,000 fine.
It will surely be interesting to see if Stern will hand down any penalties this time around. Tonight’s game will also be nationally televised, but Popovich is only resting two players instead of four.
For the Warriors, this has to be a bittersweet feeling. Of course the removal of the Spurs’ stars gives the Warriors a higher chance at victory, but at the same time, they would prefer to play against the best and have the other team put their best foot forward.
But Golden State can’t just sleepwalk through the game and expect to win. The Spurs, as always, have a deep team, and their bench players are more than capable of competing.