San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows the long-term benefits of resting players far exceed any short-term benefits. And that was evident last night in the Spurs' loss to the Utah Jazz.
Though the team fought tooth-and-nail until the waning moments of the fourth quarter, the Spurs couldn't extend their winning streak to 12. This was mainly because Pop chose to rest the Spurs' trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Without the "Big 3," it was almost a sure thing the Spurs would lose to the Jazz.
Regardless, the Spurs still sit atop the Southwest Division at 40-15 and now trail the Thunder for the West's top seed by one game.
However, for as much as Pop sees the benefit of resting his top players, Utah's Paul Millsap felt the move was an insult to the Jazz and added some extra motivation.
Millsap acknowledged his team was insulted by Popovich's gamble, saying the Jazz took extra inspiration from the no-show.
"I think that was a little motivation that … got us through, just thinking about that," Millsap said.
OK Millsap. Calm down.
The move wasn't intended to insult you or the Jazz but just a move to make sure Tim, Tony and Manu are rested not only for the upcoming playoffs but for a grueling schedule ahead. The Spurs face the Lakers quite a bit and face the Grizzlies in the coming days.
This was simply a prudent move by Pop who recognizes it is just for survival.
We're trying to survive. Our schedule speaks for itself. If you look at the schedule, you can figure it out real quickly.
Nonetheless, Millsap needs to take a second look at the win over San Antonio. It took a late fourth quarter surge by the Jazz to put away the Spurs without the "Big 3." It is safe to say even without the Spurs' "Big 3," Utah still struggled.
Insult would be having the starting five in up by 20 late in the fourth. Milsap, just be glad we didn't humiliate your team two nights in a row. We played full strength the first night and then rest our 3 main players and only lose by 7pts.
Lmao milsap is mad because pop rested guys or is he mad because he knows that had just ONE of the big 3 played that game was a spurs win. Is he mad that his mediocre team inched out an ugly win by the skin of their teeth against the spurs reserves?
I think Milsap and the Jazz should be glad they didn't play. How well would they have fared if we had our top scorer, rebounded and our madman (Ginobili) playing. Their motivation should have been getting their asses handed to them the night before (where we still sat players) and not who played Monday. At least we let them win at home...
The only reason he says it's an insult is because our bench guys almost beat them and he has no one, like our Big 3, to use as an excuse for Jazz barely pulling out the win.
Hahaha Millsap is a joke. We didn't have our 3 best players and we were winning the game until 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter where Harris decided to take over. If the Jazz were missing Harris, Jefferson, and Millsap I would love to see how they fair against the Spurs with a few other injuries. What a joke.
@sa_butta we didn't even play full strength the first time. Blair and Jackson sat out that game, and I think Pop is just not playing Anderson anymore....
@CraigThomas he needs to chill. just tells him if the sas play the jazz in the first round (if they make the playoffs) then it will be a sweep for the spurs
I was thinking the same thing, just shows how much CIA pop is already in his head, love to play them first round!