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Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau weighs in on Spurs controversy

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau isn't exactly known for taking it easy on his team, but he gave a balanced take on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's decision to rest key players for a game against the Heat on Thursday.

Drew Hallowell

The most current controversy in the NBA revolves around San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich's choice to rest Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green for a contest against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is known for expecting a lot from his players at all times, in every game, and he gave his opinion on the matter on Friday, according to a report from Aggrey Sam of

Here are Thibodeau's thoughts, from Sam's report:

"I have a hard enough time worrying about my own team. I think every team understands where they are and you have do what's best for your team, but I also think you're part of the league, too. You've got to pace your team and you play the guys you think you should play. I'm not concerned about it. It's not my issue, but you always want what's best for the league."

Thibodeau continued, expressing his respect for Popovich:

"It's each individual case. There's two sides to it. I certainly understand where Pop's coming from. Pop's one of the all-time great coaches, so I would never question what he was doing with his team. I think he understands his team, he understands the makeup of his team, he understands the age of his team. Those things are all critical. The commissioner's always charged with what to do, with doing what's best for the league and so, there's two sides to it. So, hopefully in the end, it will be resolved in a good way."

Following Popovich's decision, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the Spurs should be expecting "substantial sanctions" as a result of choosing not to play healthy players. The game was San Antonio's fourth in five days, and was also a nationally televised contest on TNT.

In the past, Thibodeau has been criticized for playing his starters for too many minutes throughout the grind of the NBA's regular season.