Popovic Plan to Rest Parker Reaping Rewards

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As the Spurs’ charter touched down in Boston late on the night of Feb. 10 after a loss at Detroit, (Coach Gregg) Popovich corralled (Tony) Parker and told him not to bother to unpack.

The All-Star point guard would be headed back to San Antonio in the morning.

“I thought he was more mentally tired than physically tired,” Popovich recalled. “He needed time away. No more shootarounds, no more game plans, the whole ball of wax. He just needed to shut down from it all.”

At the time, Parker wasn’t so sure. Popovich shut him down for 19 days straddling the All-Star break, a drastic plan of action he never considered with Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili, veterans even older than the 32-year-old Parker.

“(I thought) it was too long,” Parker said. “At the same time, I trust Pop. He did a great job with me, with Timmy, with Manu, managing us during the year to make sure we stay fresh for the playoffs. You can see the results.”

via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News

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