Greg Popovich & Tony Parker.

Tony Parker now believes Spurs' starters will play against the Golden State Warriors

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Tony Parker no longer believes that Greg Popovich will rest his star players for the San Antonio Spurs' final two games against Western Conference rivals the Golden State Warriors.

Last week, the Frenchman suggested that his head coach would prioritise the team's health going into the remaining games in the season, even though they have a chance to become the first ever NBA team to go unbeaten at home for an entire campaign.

The point guard expected Popovich to rest players in their trip to the Utah Jazz last night but the normal rotation was out in force, which proves even the Spurs players find it hard to second-guess their coach.

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The Spurs came away with an 88-86 victory in Salt Lake City, with Kawhi Leonard scoring the game-winning bucket with just under five seconds remaining for the team's 65th win of the year.

Seeing the majority of the roster take to the floor in Utah has made Parker believe they will also be called upon at the Oracle Arena against the Warriors on Thursday.

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"I think we'll play," Parker said, via ESPN. "Utah, I thought he was going to rest everybody. But we played Utah, so I don't see any reason we're not playing Golden State."

In their last meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 27, Popovich rested his marquee players en masse and Parker was convinced he would be taking the same approach against the league's number one team.

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets

Speaking on his French radio show in March, as translated by News 4 San Antonio, Parker said: "I think no one will play [against the Warriors]. To Pop, the most important thing is that the players are rested for the playoffs. As for first place, he does not care.

"For us, the end of the regular season is a good time to rest. That's why we play hard throughout the season, trying to win the most games possible, to find ourselves in this situation of luxury. We are sure we will be the second seed and we can all rest before the playoffs." 

This change in thinking could have something to do with the Warriors' shock home defeat against the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, their second consecutive home loss, which puts their quest for the regular season wins record of 73 in doubt. 

The Dubs must now win their final four games to break the record set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and play the Spurs twice. Popovich and the Spurs could see this as an opportunity to not only deny the Oakland outfit a chance to make history but also to dent their confidence going into the postseason.

"Like I said, before the Utah game, I thought [Popovich] was going to rest everybody," Parker said. "He said he wanted to play. So if we played Utah, I don't see any reason now we're not going to play Golden State. Before, we were going to rest everybody like against Utah and Golden State. But I guess he changed his mind. Everybody's playing now."  

San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
Tony Parker

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