San Antonio Spurs small forward Bruce Bowen has made a living out of playing amazing defense, angering opponents, and occasionally cheap-shotting them. But, he’s old, and the team’s roster is diluted right now with both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili out with injuries. So, a change has been made. The San Antonio Express-News (Jeff McDonald) reports:

The Spurs seem to have followed the lead of Bruce Bowen, who started the first four games of the season — and the first 555 of his Spurs’ career — before being transformed into a reserve. He comes off the bench now, without complaint. “It’s a matter of priorities,” Bowen said. “So what if you’re only playing eight minutes? There are a lot of people out there who would love to play in the NBA, for just those eight minutes.” For Bonner, any amount of NBA minutes is a blessing. In the span of three games earlier this month, he played a grand total of 42 seconds. In the past four, he’s gotten an early call from Popovich, and made the most of it, averaging a shade more than nine points and making 7 of 14 3-pointers.

With 5 wins and 6 losses the Spurs currently sit in 9th place in the Western conference, one spot out of the playoffs. Until their backcourt is healthy, the team’s goal should probably be just to hover around making the playoffs, and focus on a second half of the season run for playoff positioning. But even with full health, this team lacks the good role players they had in the past, so going far in the post-season could be a serious challenge.