The NBA handed out a $250,000 fine to the Spurs on Friday for sending four starters home prior to facing the Heat on Thursday. Despite the League’s harsh penalty, Doc Rivers defended Gregg Popovich’s move. From ESPN Boston: “Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers decried the NBA’s $250,000 fine against the San Antonio Spurs and suggested it won’t stop coaches from resting players during the regular season. The NBA penalized the Spurs Friday after coach Gregg Popovich sent stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — plus key role player Danny Green — on a commercial flight home instead of playing them in a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat on Thursday with the goal of resting them ahead of the Spurs’ Saturday visit from the league-leading Memphis Grizzlies. ‘I don’t like it, I just don’t like it,’ Rivers said before Boston’s game Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. ‘I do get the other side of it, but it’s a tough one. You have to coach your team to win in the long haul, and you have to do whatever you need to do. If that’s sitting players, then you sit players. It’s a tough one.’ Would Rivers shy away from resting his veterans in a similar situation? ‘Listen, we’ll do it when we want to do it. And we should be able to do it,’ said Rivers. ‘It can be early in the season, end of the season. Now if we give a guy [a day] off because he has a family thing — it’s just so many things here. Hopefully we all figure it out. Whatever is going to help your team win, a coach is going to do. If you don’t, and it hurts your team, then you’re the one that won’t be around. You have to do whatever’s best for your team.’”