After an impressive 112-101 win over the Spurs on Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors are now just three wins away from setting the all-time regular season wins record of 73. Along with two games against the Grizzlies, the Warriors will have to go through another battle with San Antonio if they want the record. Next time, however, the game will be played in Texas, where the Spurs haven’t lost all season.
Still, with San Antonio now out of the running for the top seed out West, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if Gregg Popovich used the last four games of the year to rest some of his star players for the upcoming postseason. After all, it’s not like Pop cares all that much about the fact that Warriors-Spurs is going to be a must-see matchup and could determine if Golden State gets the record. All he is concerned about is his team being its best heading into the playoffs. However, to the delight of NBA fans everywhere, Popovich has stated that he does not plan on resting anyone when the Warriors come to the AT&T Center on Sunday evening.
Pop’s decision not to rest people has more to do with the Spurs’ schedule than any historical implications. After their loss against Golden State on Thursday, San Antonio had to travel to Denver, where they will play the Nuggets on Friday night in the second night of a back-to-back. In that game, the Spurs’ coach says he plans on resting several key players, so he does not want to sit his guys out two games in a row if they aren’t injured.
“You need to play a couple of games in a row. You can’t just sit them, play, sit them, play, sit them, play. That’s too disjointed. That’s why we played everybody at Utah and everybody tonight to get everyone into a rhythm.
We don’t want to sit them two games in a row going into the playoffs, It doesn’t make much sense.”
Along with the potential of the Warriors getting to 73 wins, the Spurs are also chasing the first undefeated home record in an NBA season, and are just wins away from doing so. With all of that on the line, and no players sitting out for rest, Sunday is going to be about as close to a playoff environment that a regular season game can get.