Timely resting players not only has become a practice for Pop but also an art and Pop has developed this artistry to the extent that it is worth emulating. Doc should take note.
While other teams (including us) are taxing their core players with more minutes, Pop is resting his. Perhaps it is because his big three are all nearing their seventies that’s why they enjoy their Sabbath more than the others. Or is it favoritism? Or is he following an old Bible principle about resting?
Pop has mastered the art for years and has included it in his strategy. His players have responded favorably as they become more efficient and productive at the same time enjoying their day offs. Plus they have been staying competitive and even winning these games when their starters are resting.
Resting core players afford other less players to have their opportunity to play actual minutes employing their system and getting more experience and exposure to see how the system work. And when they see it working as they practice it, guess what, they gain more confidence. This trust allows them to stay within the system with less deviation and therefore with less errors. It also prepares the team for surprises should there be injuries among their top players assuring them that they are capable of performing at decent level with good results even without their starters. They’ve seen it before, so why panic. Other than Pop being a good coach and have a good system with good role players, this could very well farther explain why Pop has been successful with his 2nd tier players (Green, Neal, Diaw, Mills and the like) plus the fact that they have fewer injuries.
Now that we are set in the playoff, 3rd or 4rth seed, then perhaps we could rest our starter just like what Pop is doing. We could not add more injuries to our current list of injured players, and the fact that last year we played in the playoffs with our two top players injured, we should learn our lesson and be more careful.