Popovich, Spurs move on after Kawhi news
NBA.com Global on Feb 24, 2018 08:00 AM
FILE - SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 12: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 12, 2014 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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After revealing earlier this week he would be surprised if Kawhi Leonard plays again this season, coach Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs are doing what they tend to do best: move on to the next thing.
Leonard, a former Finals MVP winner and All-Star, has not played since Jan. 13 and has appeared in just nine games this season. Despite Leonard's absence, the Spurs are 35-24 and currently hold the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with 23 games left in the regular season.
As the Spurs visit the Denver Nuggets today, Popovich spoke to the media this morning and said neither he nor the team can linger on the news about Leonard.
"This is the last 23 games of the season. It doesn't do any good to be wishing and hoping that somebody is going to be added that saves the day. That's all silly stuff," Popovich said. "These guys have gotta go play for themselves and do what they do."
Just asked Pop what would happen if Kawhi came to him this week and said he’s ready to play.— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) February 23, 2018
Pop: “I’m not going to discuss that with you. I love you, but I’m not.”
When asked by San Antonio Express-News columnist Mike Finger what he would do if Leonard came to Popovich and said he's ready to play, Popovich said: "I'm not going to discuss that with you."
There is some good news on the horizon for the Spurs tonight, though. Veteran Manu Ginobili is expected to suit up and play after being out of the lineup since Feb. 13 (Feb. 14, PHL time) with a foot injury.
Forward Rudy Gay is also expected to be able to play today, too. If he does, it would mark Gay's first game since injuring his right heel in late December.
Popovich said Friday (Saturday, PHL time) he expects Gay to be under a minutes restriction of perhaps 15 to 20 minutes.
"He did a good job the last two days," Popovich said. "They say he's good to go and he feels good and he looked good in practice."