Coach Greg Popovich walks a fine line managing his player’s injuries and recovery. On one hand Pop’s ultra cautious approach to players recovery assures that chances of re-injury will be slight. But the sword is double edged, as they say. Playing through pain builds the type of scrappy character an underdog team needs to have if they’re going to going to realize their maximum potential. And make no mistakes about it; The Spurs, this season, are an underdog to win their 5th championship.
First let me say that it’s near impossible to know the degree of pain any given player is dealing with and I don’t intend to play psychic. But there is a reason why guys like Bruce Bowen don’t acquire injuries that cause them to miss time. For guys like Bruce missing time simply is not an option, enduring on the other hand is. After being swept by the Suns last year it’s hard not to wonder if The Spurs have abandoned the necessary gritty mentality it takes to be champion. So many modern day athletes mistake pain for injury and I hope The Spurs staff, especially Coach Pop, don’t enable this sort of attitude.
I don’t know how serious George Hill’s injury is. I don’t know what kind of pain he experienced upon his being clothes-lined by Craig Smith last night. But I hope he returns soon, for a multitude of reasons. And I hope injuries, such as Baron Davis’ sore knee, are limited to destitute teams like the Clippers. Pain is inevitable suffering is an option. Here's to hoping for an injury free season.