User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Horses
Golf
Auto
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
NBA vows to sanction Spurs for resting

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MIAMI (AP) - The San Antonio Spurs will be punished by the NBA for their decision to send four top players home and not make them available to play in Miami against the Heat on Thursday night.

Advertisement
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said the decision to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green - the core of the Spurs - was in the team's best interest. The league wasn't happy about it, and Commissioner David Stern promised that San Antonio would be penalized.

``I apologize to all NBA fans,'' Stern said. ``This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.''

Stern's statement was released roughly the same time as tip-off in Miami for a nationally televised game.

Before the game, Popovich said he decided to sit his core when he saw how challenging this particular part of the schedule was for his team. Thursday's matchup ended a six-games-in-nine-nights swing for the Spurs, who won their first five on the trip.

``Everybody has to make decisions about their schedule, about players playing and back-to-backs and trips and that sort of thing,'' Popovich said before the game. ``In our case, this month we've had 11 away games, after tonight. We've had an eight-day trip and a 10-day trip, and we're ending it with four (games) in five nights here. I think it'd be unwise to be playing our guys in that kind of a situation, given their history.''

It's not unlike other moves Popovich has made before; in fact, not only did he give Duncan, Parker and Ginobili time off together toward the end of last season, which was condensed by a lockout, he actually flew home to San Antonio with them and took a two-game, pre-playoff sabbatical.

This time, when Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green flew home - reportedly on a Southwest Airlines flight on Thursday from Orlando, where the team played one night earlier - Popovich stayed with the Spurs for the trip to Miami.

Duncan is in his 16th NBA season, Parker his 12th and Ginobili his 11th. Green is a kid compared to those guys - 25 years old and a veteran of only 110 NBA games - but Popovich said he chose to rest him as well because Green has played a lot.

Green leads the Spurs with 496 minutes played this season, which was 44th-most in the NBA entering Thursday's games. The Spurs aren't expected to practice Friday, then they face Memphis on Saturday in San Antonio.

``Perhaps it'll give us an opportunity to stay on the court with Memphis on Saturday night,'' Popovich said. ``Historically, when you're on a long road trip, that first game when you come home is really tough. And Memphis is one of the best teams in the league. They're of much more concern to us than playing four games in five nights. It's pretty logical.''

Given Stern's statement, it's also logical to think that the Spurs could know their penalty by Saturday as well.

Popovich also said facing the Heat had nothing to do with his decision.

``I've gotten letters from those people before when I've done it and I understand their perspective totally,'' Popovich said. ``If I was taking my 6-year-old son or daughter to the game, I'd want him or her to see everybody. And if they weren't there, I'd be disappointed. So I understand that perspective. Hopefully, people in that position will understand my perspective, what my priority is - the basketball team and what's best for it.''

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Popovich's move didn't affect Miami's preparation.

``Each organization has a big-picture view of what they are trying to get accomplished and I think the league respects that,'' Spoelstra said.

Popovich had Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter, Nando De Colo and Patty Mills in his starting lineup. Besides the four players sent home, Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard are injured, meaning the Spurs had only four substitutes available.

``Obviously,'' Bonner said, ``we're a little short-handed.''

The Heat had one lineup move as well. With Shane Battier out with a sprained right knee, Spoelstra moved Rashard Lewis into Miami's starting lineup alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Top 40 NBA Free agency dominoes
Mejia: Top Rookie Bet - Stanley Johnson
News: 2015 Rookie of the Year Odds
Warriors, Barbosa agree to one-year deal
Mo Williams back to Cavs on two-year deal
Bucks deny changes to front office
Jazz agree to terms with Ingles
Grizzlies re-sign Gasol for five years
Ginobili says he's returning to Spurs
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
2014 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 4765
Kevin Rogers + 3535
Dave Cokin + 2175
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 64 %
Stephen Nover 59 %
Kyle Hunter 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 3139
Dave Cokin + 1713
Stephen Nover + 1621
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1661
Stephen Nover + 1438
Kyle Hunter + 699
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1975
Michael Black + 914
Marc Lawrence + 893
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb