Can Spurs Hang On Without Parker?

 

HANG TIME, Texas -- With the Thunder falling at Denver on Friday night, the Spurs got a little breathing room in the race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

But almost before they could exhale, it was time to gasp in anguish when Tony Parker had to be helped off the court with a sprained left ankle.

“It’s a good one, he’ll be out a while,” said coach Gregg Popovich.

An MRI performed Saturday morning confirmed a Grade 2 sprain and the prognosis is for Parker to miss four weeks.

That timetable would put Parker back in the lineup with about two weeks left in the regular season, enough time it would seem to be at full strength for the start of the playoffs.

But the question is whether the All-Star point guard will return to a team that is still holding onto the top seed and home-court advantage all the way through the West bracket.

Over past three seasons, the Spurs are 7-7 without Parker, but eight of those games were also played without Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. They are 3-5 while missing all of the Big Three.

In games without Parker, but with at least one of Ginobili and Duncan, Spurs are 4-2 over past three seasons.

According to our good buddy Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, Duncan is promising that the Spurs will soldier on:

Parker’s injury might not be a blow devastating to the Spurs’ push to hold on to the top slot in the West against hard-charging Oklahoma City, two games behind in the loss column.

But it certainly doesn’t help.

“He’s been our leader all year long,” said Tim Duncan, who a month earlier nearly to the day limped off the AT&T Center floor through the same tunnel with a sprained knee. “But we’ve played with all kinds of different people this year. We’re going to rally.”

But you have to remember that so much has changed over the past two seasons, as Parker has stepped up to be the main cog in the Spurs’ scoring machine as well as the quarterback that runs the offense. He is their leading scorer and assist man and had run his string of double-digit point games to 50 before getting injured in the third quarter against the Kings on Friday night.

While so much well-deserved attention has gone to LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant in the MVP race, Parker has put up numbers that should have him in consideration, yet somehow he gets overlooked. He has never been voted an All-Star starter and finished out of the running again for the game played on Feb. 17 in Houston.

Consider this quote from Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo that McDonald pulled out of his notebook from last month’s Rodeo Trip, referring to Parker: “He’s the one they can’t afford to lose.”

If he is sidelined the full four weeks, that means Parker would miss key games against the Thunder, Grizzlies, Heat, Clippers and Nuggets.

One of the strengths of the Spurs over the past couple of seasons has been their tremendous depth. Now it could determine the No. 1 seed in the West.

78 Comments

  1. Without Parker they will keep winning games and make it into the playoffs and probley make it to the Finals

  2. Dalvin says:

    With or without T Parker Spurs will keep wining and stay first in the West . The score load will be between ,Millls,Joseph & De Colo . I know this guys can & will produce 21 points ,8 asists & 4 rebounds between them . To cover TP averige per game .
    Will be nice for the change ,show some respect to Spurs as organisation and unbelivable coach Popovich. What this team is doing is awesome.
    Imagine for the example if Le Bron or Durant are on their teams out for the month ??? How and where those teams will be ??? Imagine that ?

  3. BJ says:

    The Spurs will be OK, they had a bunch of injuries and were still winning without key players in the starting line up. They are deep. OKC and the Clips will push their games now even more to try to get the top spot since the Spurs are without Parker. But SAS will still be in the top 3 by the time the playoffs get here.

  4. Realist2013 says:

    The Spurs will be fine. Pop is in my opinion the best coach in the game. His core is solid and the team has been playing together forever. They know each others game and compliment each other. Pop has the deepestrotation in the league no one gets buried on tue bench. Yesterdays wax and tax of Detroit just reinforced my statement.

  5. T Parker says:

    Yes the Spurs can hang on. How many PG do you need? They have lots of players that can play PG, you have there Corey Joseph, Pat Mills, De Colo, Neal, plus Manu. The 39 point win against the Pistons just shows the rest of the league how to play ball w/o your MVP. Heck they almost win against the Heat last time w/o their big 3 (plus Leonard).

  6. Duv says:

    Patty “Flopper” Mills will get found out to be the joke of a point guard he really is if they decide to give him more playing time in Parker’s absence

  7. Willy says:

    All the talk about MVP is true, he should be considered. But with this injury and LBJ going on a Monster tear of the NBA, again today, don’t think his chances are very high. The play TP got hurt on was an MVP play, just unreal how he was shredding through the defenders like they traffic cones in the skills challenge. Get better quick TP. Spurs will win without TP and keep the home court advantage as well The back ups will fill in nicely, better than expected. Killed Detroit today!

  8. Patty says:

    THE SPURS CANNOT WIN WITHOUT TONY PARKER.

    • 34yr fan says:

      lol ….just watch …..you will be proven wrong ……like many before you that have heralded the Spurs’ demise prematurely !!!

  9. W/E says:

    nope, they are doomed.

  10. dean242 says:

    Dang, TP being out for a month is a tough pill to swallow. But if any team can steer to ship until the captain returns is and will always be the Spurs. Our depth will come in handy. I believe Nando de colo will get majority of the starts, and this will benefit us in the long run. De Colo will gain confidence in his ability as a play maker and shot maker. Coach Pop will make all the right calls and moves. This month will show us if we are truly ready to get back to the throne. Everyone will set-up and team chemistry will get better. Go Spurs Go, Drive for 5. Capt Jack, stay strong and encourage my brother.

  11. wow! thanks for that amazing post. I actually beloved it with the core. Hope you keep submitting these types of incredible articles or blog posts

  12. MasTER says:

    well, without parker is bad, but is not a problem, nando del colo, paty mills and dont foget Gary neal, that usually acts like ballhandler and is a good scorer

    • 34yr fan says:

      …uh, don’t forget Cory Joseph has learned alot in the last two years with the Toros AND the Spurs…..look for him to play some extended minutes like he did in Sunday night’s blowout of the Pistons.

  13. Addi says:

    Nothing to worry about, Manu and Tim needed to get into a groove anyways. Deeper bench (already the deepest) come playoff time, gives TP some much needed rest (probably be back sooner since hes always been a quick healer). Taking the #1 seed from the Spurs wont be as easy as people think, 7-7 record with TP out is misleading since it includes some games where Manu and Tim also werent playing

  14. hehehe says:

    can miami hang on without lebron

    • michael says:

      Probably, they are 7 games ahead of the Pacers for 2nd in the east and only have 25 games left, so even if they went 12-13 without him, that would mean the Pacers would have to go 18-5 over thier last 23 games to catch Miami.

  15. Abdul says:

    I don’t if he’ll get his rhythm back for the postseason… I almost cried when I heard the bad news :(

  16. MJfromOKC says:

    Well Tony Parker is a good player it will affect them but minimally. If it turns out to be worse then it could affect their last championship run if he comes back slow.

  17. AFLiam1996 says:

    all this does is hand the MVP to lebron with no competition :D

  18. Big Al says:

    The Spurs will certainly manage in the absence of Tony Parker. They’re not like the Clippers that couldn’t function without Chris Paul. Pop has a way to make things work around SA.

  19. ooo-that’s a sting to them but i’d say they’ll be fine because they play terrific team ball like my Celts w/o Rondo. :)

  20. Michael says:

    spurs are always overlooked because theyre not as “exciting” as other teams, but they are no. one right now and parker should have been an all star every season he has been in the league. but im a mavs fan so i can only hope dallas pulls off some miracle and makes it to the playoffs

  21. Yves Muylle says:

    It’s now the time to show how many skills TP has teached his teammates.
    Gregg Popovich is the outstanding coach to have done this job by the knowledge that eveybody must be able to be substituded.
    GO SPURS.
    I’m folowing you from Belgium. His dad TP Senior played in our team and against our team in the years 1980′s.
    Yves Muylle, Brugge, Belgium

  22. pattymillsmvp says:

    Will they hang on? of course they will – in fact they will have a better record under PATTY MILLS.

    Patty Mills is a beast!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Big Al says:

    If the Clips beat the Thunder on Sunday they will be the #2 seed! If the Clips can keep wining they will have a Chance to get the #1 Seed and I hope it’s the Lakers at the #8 seed so we can smack them again like we did in the Regular Season!

  24. scoubab00 says:

    It’s tough for San Antonio in the short term. They could leave the top seed in the Western Conference, OK. But the injury allows Tony to rest his body, regenerate it before the playoffs. He’ll be ready steady go, no matter the western team in front of the Spurs in two months. One step back, two steps ahead.

  25. Jeffx21 says:

    Could be a blessing in disguise,an opportunity to get the bench players more time and hardened for the playoffs. Yes it’s sad for Tony as he was a legitimate chance for MVP (mind you LeBron is amazing this year), but come the playoffs they will be stronger and have more options the further they go and besides Tony will be fresh. I’m a Chicago fan but if they don’t win I want the spurs to.

  26. ginobili says:

    C’mon guys. This is a blessing. Now our guards (Colo, Mills, Neal) get more time. Get them ready for the post season. And more importantly Parker (who’s been our work horse this season) gets a WHOLE MONTH TO REST. Actually now that I think about it, this may just be strategy, yes that’s it, the injury is fake and Pop has so much confidence in these guys that he wants to rest Parker for a while and he was probably afraid he’d get fined if he just said he was resting him. Oh Pop, you never cease to amaze me.

  27. AJ Mills says:

    How many times can people talk about the Spurs and/or Parker being overlooked … before it kind of isn’t true anymore? Aren’t we talking about them right now?

  28. sherwin says:

    now pop you got your wish. parker will now rest for a while. no need to send him home before a game…

  29. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    PARKER is gone for a moment….
    SPURS can sign GILBERT ARENAS or AARON BROOKS….
    DELONTE WEST is available too……

    • pattymillsmvp says:

      I agree they should sign arenas and west as they are the best shooters in the league. they are pretty average at shooting a basketball though.

      • MARK says:

        Why does this person comment on every article, constantly talking about Aaron Brooks and Gilbert Arenas?

      • michael says:

        @ Mark….couldn’t reply to your comment, but maybe he/she is the agent for Aaron Brooks and GIlbert Arenas and is making a last ditch effort to find them work.

  30. Nathan says:

    I think the writers forget what Tim Duncan is still capable of, but knows he doesn’t necessary have to display each night. Duncan can step onto the court, and put up 35 & 15 literally any time he wants to. There is no one in the league that can defend him and play him in such a way to keep him from doing what he wants to do. Duncan can make anyone his play thing on any given night. He just knows he does’t have to necessarily put that much effort into it night in and night out. And now, 21 will take over. And they will be just as dangerous. And they will win at least 4 out of the 5 games listed in the second-to-last paragraph, with or without Tony Parker.

  31. Duke says:

    This injury could prove very beneficial to the Spurs because it will help the Spurs develop other ways to score and distribute the ball, something they do well now.. they’ll just to rely on others like Green and Mills will see more playing time.

  32. Mike says:

    This could be a blessing in disguise. The Spurs will still win games without Parker, and his absence offers the chance for Nando de Colo and Patty Mills to get valuable experience at PG. If San Antonio can maintain a solid record without Parker, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s rested for longer than 4 weeks (but David Stern will probably fine Parker for not healing faster).

  33. GOOD NEWS:

    Parker will undergo the HARLEM SHAKE Treatment …

    He should be back next game !!! :-)

  34. ricoman says:

    no problem too much depth which will show in next 15 home games spurs go 13-2

  35. This will only make the SPURS more cohesive … and sharpen the other point guards.

    And Parker if his injury heals & recovers 100% … he will be refreshed and energized for the Play-Offs.

    THIS IS DISGUISED AS AN EVENTUAL ADVANTAGE TO THE SPURS !!!

  36. Me says:

    i though it was worst, 1 month is ok, they still having the deepest roster in the league. Parker needs a rest he’ll be back even better! GO SPURSSS GOOOOOOOOOOO‼‼ :D

  37. Mann S says:

    OKC might overtake the spurs in the standings and it’s ok… What’s the use of being no.1 in the regular season if you don’t win the championship?

    Just consider this as Parker’s time to rest, in a way, and for the other guys like de colo and mills to step up and raise their confidence level. Parker will be the focal point of opponent’s defense come playoff time so reliable backups will be needed.

    • michael says:

      The point of being #1 in the regular season is to have home court advantage in the playoffs and the potential game 7 in a series against OKC played in SA instead of OKC which would make the path to winning the championship a little bit easier.

  38. hoops says:

    Finally, finally, finally, Patty Mills might get more than one minute game time. Finally, he’ll be able to show the league what he’s made of. The best scorer at the Olympics and he doesnt even get a run, come on SPurs, let the kid play.

    • wooderson says:

      thaaaaank you! how insane that popovich is barely giving the olympics leading scorer minutes. patty is a perfect replacement for parker

  39. Basketball says:

    Manu will get his mojo back. He never got a chance…

  40. Mark says:

    I hope he will be out for ever.

  41. Rafaela says:

    Thiago Splitter still underrated, sad :(

  42. chiell spurs fan says:

    that’s bad news for our spurs..but we can still win and practice without Tony in the line up because im sure if the playoff begin who ever team we face in the playoff they try to stop tony because his our head of the snake now his out for 4 weeks we can practice without him and some option without parkers help go spurs go!

  43. kenny says:

    the spurs are still a good team without Parker but if he’s injured for the playoffs there done by round 1 or 2 but even if he’s health they woun’t beat the Thunder when they meat them in the west finals or simi finals

  44. Mark says:

    It shoudn’t be a problem as the Spurs are pretty deep at the guard postion, and they also have a home-heavy schedule remaining. Sure, they’ll miss Parker but he should be back in time to get into rhythm before the playoffs. Never underestimate the coaching of Gregg Popovich.

  45. thesacredspectator says:

    spurs are a great team no doubt and tp is an amazing player, hell be back and ready to go for the post seaons but they are done. winning titles aint gonna happen anymore not when they got to play teams like OKC and CLIPPS and beat them in a 7 game series to compete against the heat in a 7 game series to capture their 5th title….just dont see it happening…it was a great run for the spurs but i see WCF exit and being handed by OKC,

  46. bj says:

    get well soon, it will be a tough race in the west, Laker, Clippers, Thunder (maybe Kings)

    • michael says:

      What race are you talking about?? The Thunder and Clippers are second and third, but the Lakers are ninth and the Kings are last……if the Kings won every game they have left and the Spurs lost every game they have left, the Spurs would still be 4 games ahead of the Kings.

  47. No problem tim duncan is there.

  48. BIG MAN 7 FOOT 2 says:

    my guy nando de colo will fill in admirably in parkers absence , TP will miss march which is 13 games but the spurs will still go 9 – 4 just watch

  49. LakersWillWin says:

    As much as of a role that Parker plays in the success of this team, San Antonio will be fine. They almost beat Miami without their big 3. Pop is the greatest coach in basketball (currently) and always has a way of figuring this stuff out. Regardless though, this is a huge blow to the organization. If LeBron wasn’t playing this way, or wasn’t in the league, you’d be looking at our MVP this season. Get well soon Parker!

    • Hm says:

      I don’t see it. Certain fans constantly talk about MVP and then they turn around and say the Spurs will be fine playing (maybe) a month without him. I, too, think they will be fine, but I don’t go around calling Parker an MVP. Great player though.
      Like with the Bulls, I believe the D of the Spurs is the team’s backbone. Duncan, Leonard, even Ginobili still has it at times.

  50. qwertyuiop says:

    spurs will lose a little more, but they still can win without parker

  51. Mo says:

    I think that is huge for them as a team. He is playing MVP level unfortunately there is LBJ…
    In fact they have 13 games in march that TP will miss. Some things count on the good side…they have so many home games left. And Pop always finds a way to secure wins.
    But TP gives them easy buckets and makes players around him better. I expect them to win but needing more effort from all players to compensate. That can lead to other issue like more injuries being exhausted coming to playoff and so.
    And even if TP return in one month he and team will not be at the exact place like before he “left”.
    Overall I think they will miss the 60+ wins and may drop below OKC because of that.

  52. Jimmyt says:

    This is terrible news for the Spurs…No resting time for Manu and Tim…No home court advantage
    Hope we don t meet Lakers on first round

  53. I feel bad for himv:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

  54. Takwach says:

    Parker is having an MVP type season. That’s a big blow to the Spurs, but they’re deep. You do have guys that can step up like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Patty Mills. Having a healthy Duncan and Ginobili should help, too.

  55. Adrian says:

    Nope just because we lose tony parker thats going to really affect us at all.

  56. waffy says:

    go kobe&lakers

  57. SynByn says:

    They are lucky that the injury didnt sideline him into the playoffs.

    • Marisol Calderon says:

      If they make it to the playoffs without him.

      • Ivo says:

        If they make it? My God, you must be a genius.

      • hahaha yeah, he’s a genius…cuz he knows that the Spurs doesn’t have any good Point Guards left, except Nando De Colo and Patti Mills…what a genius guy indeed

        *Sarcasm

      • michael says:

        If the Spurs were to lose all of the 22 games they have remaining, the Lakers would still need to go 18-5, Houston would need to go 16-8, Utah would need to go 16-9 and Golden State would need to go 15-9…..all of those teams would have to play that well for the Spurs to miss the playoffs and all of those records would be playing well above the teams winning percentage for the season. Not to mention that this would also require the Spurs to lose every single game they have left, including the last two weeks once Parker returns.
        6 is the combined number of Spurs wins and Lakers losses required for the Spurs to clinch a playoff spot.

      • Marcus Camby says:

        Of course they will make it with Patty Mills carrying the team. Patty Mills MVP.