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Spurs: Is Coach Popovich tanking, trolling, or both?

San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich
San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Dwight Powell, Drew Eubanks / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

1. Jakob Poeltl out = Double Eubanks and Young?

For the life of me, I still have no idea what it's going to take for Gregg Popovich to give Jock Landale some meaningful minutes. I've already been beating this point to death in the last week, but consider what was happening against Boban Marjonavic. The guy is 7-3 and sometimes was finding himself guarded by Bryn Forbes.

Boban shot 8-of-10 from the field facing almost no resistance from anyone in his path. Obviously, Poeltl was greatly missed here, but someone like Landale would have made Boban work on both ends. Marjanovic isn't exactly mobile, so covering the 3-point line, as he'd have to with Landale on the court, would open up wide-open shots for him or open up the driving lane. Defensively, Landale at least has the size to match Poeltl as well.

This is all without mentioning how Eubanks was getting dominated by Dwight Powell in the first quarter on lobs and putbacks.

I was trying to think of reasons Coach Popovich might be hesitant to play Jock. Maybe he's still hurt? Maybe he's slacking in practice or not meshing well with the team? None of that seemed likely, but Coach Pop's answer before the last game was telling.

So what this tells me is this is just Popovich trying to be cute. Isn't he the one in control of playing time? Isn't getting decimated by a 7-3 center reason enough to maybe try something else? Is this not the year to experiment with lineups and see what this roster can do? Jock isn't a teenage rookie, but for some reason, he's being treated like one.

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San Antonio Spurs Tre Jones / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

2. Strange Minute Patterns

I know not everyone is going to see minutes in every game on this roster, and I don't expect that. But are you really going to see the growth of Tre Jones by sticking him on the court for two minutes in the first quarter and then never again? Jones made an immediate impact with a floater, steal, and assist.

He was never seen again.

I get that there's still a lot to figure out, but there needs to be some sort of rhyme or reason to rotations eventually. This season, Coach Pop has shown a tendency to either overreact to one bad play or not react at all to the same mistake happening repeatedly. And speaking of mistakes.

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