4-Down Podcast, Ep. 74: Rodeo Road Trip, injuries and All-Stars

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So the San Antonio Spurs are 4-2 through the first leg of the Rodeo Road Trip, and they’ve made it to that mark while dealing with injuries all along and maintaining their place as the second-place team in the West.

But it’s been a little weird. Splitter came back one game before they left town, yet he’s been out of action ever since the double-overtime game against Washington last week with a calf injury; Parker has been in and out of the lineup, and he was actually sent home prior to the Boston game after Gregg Popovich said he just wasn’t himself, physically or mentally.

This team badly needed the break, but it’s nearly over, and things are about to really pick up. The good thing is that Manu Ginobili is expected to be back perhaps as soon as Tuesday against the Clippers, and Kawhi Leonard is also nearing a return to the court. So the Spurs are getting as close to full strength as they’ve been since Jan. 4, when Splitter set off this whole rash of injuries against the, wouldn’t you know it, the Clippers.

And speaking of Tiago, this injury stuff has been frustrating, and his coach wasn’t shy about his feelings. Pop singled his center out for not playing in pain, which is something he hardly ever does. So that’s going to be something to keep an eye on going forward. The Spurs need him healthy, and this is the time of year to rest, but it’s a little interesting hearing those comments.

Anyway, we talk about all that and more … oh yeah, Marco Belinelli became the first Spur to ever win the Three-Point Shootout at All-Star weekend!

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