Pop wants to rest his superstar prior to the postseason, but as he tells the Express-News, that’s just not possible these days: “That grand plan Gregg Popovich had to rest Tim Duncan on more second nights of back-to-backs more than ever before? Scrap it, for now. The Spurs found themselves in such a situation Wednesday in Orlando, coming off a hard-earned victory in Miami in which Duncan approached a normal workload. In a perfect world, it would have been a perfect opportunity for Popovich to rest him. The tightening Western Conference playoff race, combined with the injury to Tony Parker, have made it virtually impossible for Popovich to sit Duncan and Manu Ginobili, his 30-something stars, as much as he’d prefer. ‘Our schedule and the situation we’re in now have made it so he and Manu have to play a little bit more than I really wanted,’ Popovich said. Duncan played 24:36 of a blowout loss to the Magic, though not well. He shot 1 for 10, statistically the worst shooting night of his career, en route to a season-low five points. When it comes to sitting Duncan, 33, Popovich has been fighting his better judgment. In the past, he has been willing to sacrifice a game or two in the playoff race to keep his most important players fresh. Duncan has missed just three games this season, and only one for non-injury reasons.”
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