Spurs to rest five players vs. 76ers
By Rob Wolkenbrod
The San Antonio Spurs will be limited in Wednesday night’s game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.
One night after defeating the New York Knicks, the San Antonio Spurs will return to the court. It’s for a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the first time these teams faced off in the 2017-18 season.
For back-to-backs, head coach Gregg Popovich typically rests part of his lineup, usually the older players or ones returning from injury. After only holding out Rudy Gay (right heel) vs. New York, the possibility remained that one or multiple players, along with Gay, would rest in Philadelphia.
Well, on Wednesday, the official injury report was announced. The Spurs will rest not just Gay, but four other players: Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management), Tony Parker (return from injury management), Danny Green (left groin tightness) and Manu Ginobili (rest).
Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis), Manu Ginobili (rest), Danny Green (tightness, left groin), Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) and Tony Parker (return from injury management) are all out for tonight’s Spurs-76ers game. pic.twitter.com/maWmwHYH1g
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 3, 2018
This removes three starters from the lineup. So, look for Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson and Bryn Forbes to join LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol in this reshaped starting five. It won’t be the first time these three started, as Anderson claimed Leonard’s spot for most of the fall, Murray started the season at point guard and Forbes filled in for Green’s on-and-off groin ailment. It’s a case of “next man up” in the Alamo City, with everyone filling in for the veteran starters.
Of course Murray will have Patty Mills to back him up. The same goes for Forbes and Brandon Paul, and Anderson and Davis Bertans. It’s an opportunity for end-of-the-bench players to step up, make an impression and earn more rotation minutes. This can be an early audition for the playoffs, too, for the day Popovich has to thin out the rotation.
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The Spurs and 76ers will go head-to-head at 7:00 p.m. ET on FSSW and NSPA. Which player will step up?