Don't expect to see Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker on the court on Thursday if you're planning to watch the NBA's TNT doubleheader. The San Antonio Spurs announced that they will be resting Duncan and Ginobili, while Parker will miss his second straight game with a right shin contusion suffered on Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
You'll recall that head coach Gregg Popovich's maintenance program got the team in trouble last November. The Spurs sat the same three players and Danny Green against the Miami Heat in a much-hyped TNT matchup against the Miami Heat, and the league fined the organization $250,000.
The rationale for the punishment was that San Antonio was doing a disservice to fans and did not inform the public in a timely manner. That's why this announcement is coming from the team's official Twitter account rather than Popovich casually letting the media know before the game.
Ironically, that Spurs/Heat game ended up being tightly contested and highly entertaining, with the Heat needing a 12-2 run to steal a 5-point win.
Popovich routinely benches his veteran players in order to avoid injury and keep them fresh for the playoffs. This is just the second time he's done that this season with Duncan, though, and the first with Ginobili.