The contest between the teams is so important to fans, that, in early January, the San Antonio Express-News editorial board published an open letter to Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, asking him to "not pull any punches," which "means playing our best guys and playing to win."
We’d like to see real, bruising, honest-to-goodness, real-life matchups on all of those dates — home March 19, away on April 7 and home on April 10 — but also on Jan. 25.
Imagine how belittled San Antonio fans would feel if the Warriors played their bench against us. We’d call them scaredy-cats, even if there were good strategic reasons for benching their best.
The Spurs bench beating the Warriors has some allure, but we really want to see honest-to-goodness matchups, if only to see what level of game we need to bring.
Well, Coach Pop declined their request, sort of.
Tim Duncan won't be playing because of soreness in right knee, and ESPN is skeptical.
It's unlikely that Duncan's knee issues are serious, as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich typically manages the minutes of his veterans to prevent any potential injuries from worsening.
With or without Duncan, the game is still going to be great, as pointed out in the NBA's Hang Time Blog.
It’s hard to argue that this isn’t the biggest regular season matchup we’ve seen in our lifetimes. In fact, it’s the first time in NBA history that two teams with winning percentages better than .850 have played each other this late in the season.
The blog goes on to list an array of reasons about why this will be a great game.
So Duncan or not, expect Championship-level competition as the rest of the regular starters and our deep bench take on the Warriors.
Go Spurs Go!