Friday night, the Spurs' Twitter account announced five of its best players would be out for Saturday's match against the Thunder -- four of them due to "rest," while Kawhi Leonard is out with a right quad contusion.
INJURY REPORT: Aldridge (rest), Duncan (rest), Ginobili (rest), Leonard (right quad contusion), Parker (rest) are out for Spurs-Thunder— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 26, 2016
Sure, having four players out for rest is an attention-grabbing announcement, but it's also one that could be justified for several reasons:
1. The Spurs are pretty much locked in second place in the Western Conference. A win doesn't move the proverbial needle toward usurping the Warriors' spot; a loss doesn't hurt them either. So why waste the best players for a game that won't influence its playoff spot?
2. The NCAA Tournament is down to the Elite Eight this weekend. Generally, viewers will gravitate more towards those games instead of the regular, prime time NBA grind. By resting his players, Popovich is also telling Spurs fans, "You should also rest from us, too. There's going to be some cool stuff happening in college basketball tonight. See you in the playoffs."
3. As ABS-CBN reporter T.J. Manotoc noted, the last time the Spurs sat out their best players (in 2012), they kept it a secret and were fined $250,000.
It remains to be seen how Adam Silver reacts, but chances are they won't be fined, simply because they reported it this time.
Anyway, now that fans know what to expect for Saturday's Spurs-Thunder game, perhaps it'd be best if they watched college basketball instead.
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