It’s the NBA’s version of a logic question, juggling minutes and rest for a team over its most difficult stretch of the season.
The Spurs will play three games in the next three nights in three different cities.
Also playing into the equation is the relative health of the three teams and the overall success — or lack thereof — earlier this season against each of them.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will face an undermanned Golden State team that is already looking to next season. The Warriors won’t play David Lee and Andrew Bogut and likely won’t play Richard Jefferson or Stephen Curry tonight.
The Lakers approach on Tuesday night. Playing without Kobe Bryant last week in San Antonio, the Lakers humiliated the Spurs and forced them into their worst performance of the season last week. Andrew Bynum looked like the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain as he dominated the Spurs inside in that resounding loss.
Sacramento will finish the three-game swing Wednesday night. The Kings have talented young players like DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans. That group came into the ATT Center earlier this season and produced the Spurs’ first home loss earlier this season. They then lost a tight five-point game to the Spurs in Sacramento in the rematch.
The Western Conference top seed could still be out there as well, adding another variable to the equation. Popovich has always maintained that he doesn’t coach trying to earn the No. 1 seed if it came at the expense of the health going into the playoffs. But how much easier would the playoffs be if the Spurs knew they would have a potential seventh playoff game at home against any Western opponnet.
It’s clear that Popovich will choose to rest his players in various combinations over the three games.
The question here is for Spurs Nation. How exactly would you set your Spurs roster over the next three nights in order to maximize your opportunities for success — both now and later in the playoffs?
Would you sit the “Big Three” of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker tonight at Golden State. Would you sit one of them and maybe play two others? Would you have them all back for the Lakers on Tuesday. And how would you play your roster on Wednesday against the Kings?
As always, I am interested in your responses.