Popovich reacts to Heat benching LeBron, Wade

Erik Spoelstra nearly pulled off the perfect April Fool’s joke on Gregg Popovich Sunday night, it’s just too bad that the game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat happened one day too early.

Five months after Popovich famously sent home Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker on a Southwest Airlines flight out of Orlando and “rested” his star players in their match-up with Miami, Spoelstra turned the tables on Popovich Sunday night by not playing LeBron James,  Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers.

Popovich was fined $250,000 for keeping his players out of the first game and he acted just a little more than “shocked” when he was asked how not having James, Wade and Chalmers in the lineup would effect the Spurs preparations.

“I can’t believe anybody would do something like that,” Popovich joked. “Who would think of something like that?”

Popovich was asked if he’d ever do something like that.

“Those kinds of things don’t even go through my head,” Popovich responded.

But unlike when his short-handed Spurs nearly defeated Miami in their first match-up, the Heat did pull off the minor upset on Sunday night, thanks to a last-second Chris Bosh 3-pointer that gave Miami an 88-86 win.