- Created on Tuesday, 25 December 2012 00:21
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by David Rountree
The San Antonio Spurs are sitting pretty in the Western Conference standings, still in contention for the top spot. Just a quarter of the season has passed, so the Spurs have time to chase the number one seed but that isn’t their main goal. Chances are if you asked any of the Spurs’ players, coaches, and staff they would say “health” is their main goal.
If the Spurs could receive a present this holiday season it would be health for their aging stars and vital role players. They want to go into the playoffs with a healthy squad to contend for a title. So records, ratings, and even fines are not deterrents to the main goal—which is to stay healthy.
But Coach Gregg Popovich isn’t waiting for the “gift” of health to be bestowed upon him by the basketball gods; he is taking the proper precautions to ensure it the best way he can. For example no one on the Spurs averages anywhere close to forty minutes a game, which is amazing once you consider the games are 48 minutes long. Popovich’s cautions are not just reserved for the old either, Spurs’ sophomore Kawhi Leonard averages only 28 minutes a game. Also starting guard Danny Green only manages 29 minutes a night and both players are in their mid-twenties.
The stars on the team like Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili together only average a little over 28 minutes a game. Despite this the team has still managed a 21-8 record this season and has played well on the road.
Injuries are part of the game of basketball and it is no perfect way to prevent them, but it’s a fact that fewer minutes make for fresher legs. The Spurs’ system is definitely keeping players healthy and fresh, but if the team had one guaranteed holiday wish it would definitely involve the health of their players.