San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker reversed course Monday night regarding his belief that coach Gregg Popovich would rest the team's frontline contributors during its next two meetings against the first-place Golden State Warriors.
Parker expected Popovich might rest key players in Monday's 88-86 win over the Utah Jazz, but Popovich utilized the majority of the roster, with five players -- Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili and Kyle Anderson -- scoring in double figures. That led Parker to expect the entire group would play Thursday night at Golden State.
The teams meet again the following Sunday.
"I think we'll play," Parker said. "Utah, I thought he was going to rest everybody. But we played Utah, so I don't see any reason we're not playing Golden State."
In March, Parker expressed pessimism about the chances for a Spurs and Warriors matchup involving all the team's key players, citing Popovich's penchant for resting key contributors leading into the postseason.
"I think no one will play [against the Warriors]," Parker said on his French radio show, which was translated by News 4 San Antonio. "To Pop, the most important thing is that the players are rested for the playoffs. As for first place, he does not care. For us, the end of the regular season is a good time to rest. That's why we play hard throughout the season, trying to win the most games possible, to find ourselves in this situation of luxury. We are sure we will be the second seed and we can all rest before the playoffs."
The Spurs played nearly the entire roster in Monday's win over the Jazz except for new additions Andre Miller, Kevin Martin and rookie Boban Marjanovic. Tim Duncan played 23 minutes, and the rest of the team's starters logged at least 25 minutes apiece, including 35-plus minutes for Aldridge and Leonard, who nailed the go-ahead jumper with 4.9 seconds left and finished with 18 points. San Antonio picked up its 65th victory.
"Like I said, before the Utah game, I thought [Popovich] was going to rest everybody," Parker said. "He said he wanted to play. So if we played Utah, I don't see any reason now we're not going to play Golden State. Before, we were going to rest everybody like against Utah and Golden State. But I guess he changed his mind. Everybody's playing now."