A stuffy nose and secret plans were the main topics of discussion as the San Antonio Spurs made preparations for what they hope will be a breakthrough homecourt victory in the NBA Western Conference finals.
Less than 24 hours after his dominating rebounding performance in Game 5 of this Texas tussle, Dennis Rodman sat out his team’s Memorial Day workout with a stuffy nose.
“He didn’t feel well. There were three or four people who didn’t feel well,” coach Bob Hill said. “I don’t know if it was food or air conditioning in the rooms or whatever.”
Rodman was the only player to skip the workout, and he felt good enough to lift weights.
“Yeah, he’s in lifting weights now,” Hill said after a brief meeting with the team after practice. “You can lift weights with a stuffy nose.”
Rodman didn’t talk to reporters after he grabbed 19 rebounds, 12 of them on offense, in Sunday’s 103-81 rout of Houston, and he slipped out a back door of the Alamodome without talking on Monday.
Hill said when he was told by the trainer that Rodman didn’t feel well, he decided Rodman should stay off the practice floor. But before he talked to his power forward, the coach seemed to be among those wondering if the illness was as phony as the color of Rodman’s hair.
“I’ve got to see how sick he is and what the real story was,” Hill said.
But after their talk, the coach seemed satisfied the illness was legit.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow before the game,” Hill said. “He’s got a night to get off his feet and get his strength back and if there’s a decision that needs to be made, then it will be made tomorrow before the game.”
Meanwhile, the Spurs were making secret plans to deviate from their routine to try to get a breakthrough homecourt victory in Game 5.
Rumor had it the team would spend the night in a hotel, pretending tonight’s game is on the road.
No home team has won a game in the series, which is tied 2-2. San Antonio has won four in a row on the road, but has lost three straight at the Alamodome.
Hill would only hint about what was planned. “We are going to change our routine a little bit, but that’s as far as I’m going to go,” he said. “I think what we’re going to do is definitely worth a shot and we’re going to do it.”
The players were mum, too.
“We’re not supposed to talk about it,” Sean Elliott said.
Before the team meeting, David Robinson didn’t think staying in a hotel would help the Spurs’ chances but he wasn’t about to complain.
“We lost a couple of home games and if you need to change the routine, it’s fine to me,” he said.
The Spurs believe the Rockets are showing signs of weariness after playing 14 games in 26 days, and that San Antonio’s superior depth is beginning to show.