Spurs sit four starters, are narrowly beaten by Heat
On Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs made the controversial decision to sit four of their starters–Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green. It’s a move harshly criticized by NBA Commissioner David Stern, who says that sanctions on the team will be coming soon.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich made the move, claiming he had the team’s best interest in mind. Stern, however, thinks it is insulting to the fans and the game to not have your best players out on the court when they are healthy.
Despite the benched starters, Yahoo! reports that the Spurs still made the Miami Heat work hard for their 105-100 win. The Heat had to play hard well into the fourth quarter, despite the weaker competition from San Antonio.
Former Celtic Ray Allen gave Miami the lead on a three-poiner with just 22.6 seconds left in the game.
While sitting most of your star players this early in the season certainly is a questionable choice from Popovich, there should also be some questions for Stern. If the Spurs still played a great game and almost beat the Heat who were playing at full-force, is it really that big of a deal? If they’re still putting up a competitive team, who cares if Parker and Duncan aren’t on the court? A good game is a good game.
Spurs forward Matt Bonner, after hearing Stern’s comments, expressed his confidence in his whole team.
”Oh, it would have been great if we won, [but] it goes back to what I was saying, I’m sure everybody else was saying before the game. We have faith in everybody on our roster. We think we have one of the deepest teams in the league.”
The Heat’s Chris Bosh also made note of the hard work the Spurs put in.
”We survived, and we won. They have a bunch of talented guys over there. I know that nobody’s going to really give them credit, but they are a tough bunch.”
So, you be the judge: poor decision on Popovich’s part? Or great opportunity to show off the talent of the guys that get overlooked?