Spurs fans who have been wondering when Gregg Popovich will begin resting some of his veteran players soon will have an answer. The club is expected to announce soon that their “Big Three” stars – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – will be held out of their next two road games: Saturday in Oklahoma City and Monday in Memphis.

The Spurs are to play the Grizzlies at The AT&T Center on Friday night without leading scorer and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, who suffered a right thigh contusion during Wednesday’s win over the Miami Heat. Leonard’s availability for Saturday’s game against the Thunder and Monday’s game in Memphis remains undetermined.

Only 10 regular season games remain after Friday’s game against Memphis and the Spurs need only one victory to assure no worse than the No. 2 seed in the NBA playoffs. Under Popovich, the Spurs coach since early in the 1996-97 season, the team often has leveraged its early playoff positioning by resting key players as the playoffs approach.


*Top Image:Spurs Manu Ginóbili speaks to the crowd while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan look on during the Spurs celebration at the Alamodome of their 2014 NBA Finals victory. Photo by Scott Ball.

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Mike Monroe is a longtime, award-winning sports journalist who has covered the NBA for the San Antonio Express-News and other publications.