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Millsap calls Spurs resting big three “slap in the face”

Apr 10, 2012, 11:53 AM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Note to Paul Millsap: It was nothing personal. He would do this against anyone.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rested his big threeTim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — on Monday night when the Spurs took on the Jazz. Popovich didn’t care about the Spurs 11-game winning streak or the paying fans in Utah. He cares about having his team ready for the playoffs, and with his older stars that means rest on back-to-backs. So they sat.

While most Jazz fans will take that and the win that came with it, Paul Millsap will not. The Utah forward took offense, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Jazz forward Paul Millsap said it was a “slap in the face.”

“I think that was a little motivation that … got us through, just thinking about that,” Millsap said.

Paul, your team is 1.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the West with just eight games left to play — you need extra motivation? If you get handed a gift win by the team atop the standings in the Western Conference, you take it and say thank you. The problem is you almost didn’t take it — you needed a nine-point fourth quarter comeback to get the win. Save the energy for Houston and Memphis on the schedule later this week — you need those games. Let this one go.

  1. leearmon - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I appreciate Milsap’s competitiveness however Pop’s strategy is more about positioning than it is about disrespect to the game or to the Jazz. Its clear the Spurs don’t want to run into the Grizzlies before they have to, and locking up the #1 seed is almost a lock to face Memphis in the 2nd round, as the Grizz more than likely will have the 5th spot in the West. Its a strategic move, but one that makes plenty of sense. The Spurs just do not match up well with Memphis, so avoiding them as long as possible is the best way to operate. If im Milsap I just take the win and try to clinch one of the last playoff spots out west and try to get my revenge vs the Spurs come playoff time.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      man…the Griz are a scary team. you may be onto something…

    • zacksdad - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      So you automatically assume the Grizzlies are going to beat the Clippers and the Spurs prefer to play the Lakers? They are 3 and 0 against Grizzlies with one game left. They are 2 and 1 against the Clippers. And they have not played the Lakers yet but have 3 of their last 11 games against them.

      You must be a Grizzlies fan with that type of logic.

    • ratedgap - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Actually, I don’t think it has anything to do with playoff positioning or the Grizz. It has more to do with the Spurs having older players and resting the big 3 on the end of a back to back. The Spurs have a lot of games left in this short season, including a 3 game 3 night tilt next week. As has been seen lately, one of the big 3 has a tendency to get hurt right before the playoffs. They will take all the rest they can get, especially with the postseason pretty much locked up.

      Also, when they weren’t the one seed, they were resting starters then also. Look up the Tim Duncan DNP – old line from a game last month I think it was. They weren’t the one seed then but still rested the older guys. Believe me, they aren’t worrying about the Grizzlies. Manu had a broken arm in last year’s playoffs. Made a huge difference overall.

  2. spellingcopfather - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    What should be a slap in the face is not Killing the Spurs with the big 3 out!!

  3. bowwserr - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Hey Milsap, the Big Tres played the night before. What happened then? Oh yeah. They lit you up. You shouldn’t care who it is you play. Your main focus should be getting the W, which you didn’t get with them on the court, and you barely, BARELY got with them not playing. If I were you, I’d be seriously worried. Give these young Spurs 2-3 more years with these vets. They will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Because they don’t have the Milsap mentality.

    • longhornpride05 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      in 2-3 more years “these vets” will be shadows of their old selves…

      • bowwserr - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        Ah, you are very correct, longhornpride (like the name, by the way). But I didn’t say they wouldn’t be, nor would I ever. Fact of the matter is, Timmy has a max of 3 years left in this league before he retires under his own power (I think he retires if he wins another ring before those 3 years are up). Manu probably has another 5-6 years, but he will definitely start to fade here in the next couple of years; same with Tony. HOWEVER, more important than their physical contributions, these three guys are giving these young guys leadership and direction, teaching them the Spurs’ way of playing basketball. So while the Big Three won’t be here for very much longer, it’s very safe to say that their impact on these young guys will show through for several years. #GoSpursGo

  4. brianjoates - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    So pissed, while its corny, my brother and his infantry left for Afghanistan and he asked me to run his fantasy basketball team during the playoffs, and they are now in the champiopnship and Pop sits Parker and Duncan, two main pieces to his team. Plus Kobe is hurt..

    .Pop crushing a soldiers first fantasy basketball teams chance at a championship, thanks dude.

  5. thebigcaptain2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Coach Pop: “Hey Paul! What did the five fingers say to the face?”

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