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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich believes fewer NBA games would be beneficial

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich points to

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich points to his bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia.  Credit: AP/Matt Slocum

With a report surfacing Saturday that the NBA is considering a number of changes to stoke interest among fans, including cutting the regular-season schedule from 82 to 78 games, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked if he thinks that would be beneficial.

Popovich is in favor of the change. He was the first coach to implement healthy rest days among his players and was fined for it at the time. His move was particularly irritating to the NBA leadership and the television networks when he did it for a nationally televised game.

“It would probably be beneficial,” Popovich said. “And load management is whatever you want load management to be. That’s like saying all people in a certain population feel the same about a subject. Load management is different to different teams. But everybody does it to a degree.

“I don’t care. Whatever they do, they do. I have bigger fish to fry. Mr. Silver will work at that stuff and do his best job with all his colleagues. And I will offer no advice because they’re a lot smarter than me. And I don’t want any out-of-bounds plays from him.”

Waiting game

Allonzo Trier started in the opener against the Spurs but has fallen out of the rotation and has not played in the last five games, including the Knicks’ 111-104 loss to San Antonio on Saturday night.

“He’s been a pro,” coach David Fizdale said. “You watch him on the bench, I think that tells you everything you need to know. He’s the first one rooting for his teammates. Now is he happy or ecstatic that he’s not playing? No. And I don’t want him to be. I want him to be hungry. I want him to keep fighting.

“And by no means is he out of sight, out of mind. I don’t think I have that luxury with this team to put anybody in that position. Just right now I’m starting to find consistency with the groups that are playing. I’m going to lean toward that right now before anything else.”

New York Sports