Some Spurs available, some not against Bobcats
The San Antonio Spurs enter their Saturday match up with the Charlotte Bobcats healthier than they were against the Brooklyn Nets… barely.
You may remember, Tony Parker tweaked his back against the Washington Wizards Wednesday. Tim Duncan played 40 brilliant minutes in that game. It was pretty clear neither were going to play against the Nets Thursday night. Then we got word Boris Diaw was dealing with food poisoning and wouldn’t play. Then Matt Bonner re-broke his broken nose (if that’s possible) and Nando De Colo also suffered a broken nose. Or maybe De Colo’s break came first. Either way, noses were broken. At least no one broke a hand. The Spurs lost, but the reserves put up a damn good fight for three quarters.
Thanks to the San Antonio Express News’ Jeff McDonald, we now know that Parker, Duncan and Diaw will be back for game four of the Rodeo Road Trip. De Colo and Bonner, noses broken and all will also be ready to go. However, Tiago Splitter (calf contusion) and Marco Belinelli (back spasms) are game-time decisions. Two steps forward, one step back. Assuming Splitter sits or is limited, this likely means more Tim Duncan guarding Al Jefferson and more Jeff Ayres and Aron Baynes picking up fouls trying to defend Jefferson. If Belinelli is out, it really just means the Spurs will smaller on the wings than normal, which really wouldn’t be that big a difference from the last month or so. It does mean the Bobcat wings, not the best shooters, could still beat the Spurs up on the boards. Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are both big, physical wings so the Spurs will have to be extra vigilant to avoid getting killed on the offensive glass. Fortunately, the Bobcats are tied with the Spurs for 28th in the league in that particular category.
The Spurs have three games left before six days off for the All-Star break. They are all winnable games against teams with sub .500 records. Still, when you’re this close to a long rest and prospect of having a nearly healthy squad after the All-Star break, it’s best not to tempt fate. Gregg Popovich and the coaching staff know this, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Splitter and Belinelli sit tonight at least. Tip-off from the soon to be Hornet’s Nest is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest.
Stats provided by ESPN