Blogtable: On Tony Parker’s health

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Tony Parker’s ankle | The big fourth | Your Finals call


> Can the Spurs win without Tony Parker playing at his peak, health-wise?

Tony Parker (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE)

Tony Parker (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE)

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Yes, because this gets into semantics: No one is at his peak, health-wise, by June of the NBA season and postseason. Everyone is some percentage of his ideal self, so Parker just needs to be the best he can be. Now, relatively speaking, that means he can’t be gimpy to the point of rushing or forcing things against Miami’s pressure. He was a particular thorn in the Heat’s side in last year’s Finals and their defensive game plan would be aided considerably by Parker limping on that right leg. But with Game 2 scheduled for Sunday, the Spurs point guard will have to gut out only one game in a span of eight days before facing the prospect of a series-debilitating injury. My hunch is he’ll be up to the task.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Did the Blog Master fall asleep on the sofa during the second half of Game 6 in the WCF when the Spurs took down the Thunder without Tony Parker at all?  He actually suffered the ankle injury in Game 4, so the Spurs won the two clinching games with their best player at less than peak health.  You’re making me sound like Gregg Popovich here.  Of course, a 100 percent Parker driving into the paint and scoring or dishing is optimal and makes things better for SA.  But at this time of the year, almost nobody is 100 percent fit.  I believe he’ll be close enough. In addition, Patty Mills has been a solid backup and Manu Ginobili is quite capable as the point, as he was in OKC on Sunday.  Ginobili is often the one with the ball in his hands to make plays late under normal circumstances.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comChances would be very slim the Spurs could slip by the Heat without a peak-performing Tony Parker. You saw them survive one half in Game 6 without him, but even as deep as San Antonio is and as well as their role players blend into the system, that’s asking too much. Parker’s penetrations are the heart-and-soul of the offense. Lose that and you lose the series.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Yes. But not if Parker is far from peak. A status report like that is impossible to quantify, but the star point guard can still get the job done at 80 or 85 percent, all the way to being able to press the trophy over his head while standing on the podium. Parker at, say, 50 or 60 percent, struggling to move well, becomes the kind of issue that can tip a series. The bench play of Patty Mills has been big in 2013-14, but the Spurs are heading into what should be a very tight series and need Parker in a good place.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: They need him to be able to turn the corner on pick-and-rolls, get into the paint, and draw the attention of an extra defender or two. That’s how their offense works. It helps that Manu Ginobili — their secondary ball-handler — is playing a lot better than he was a year ago. But two guys who can penetrate and create problems for the defense are a lot better than one.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Yes, they can. But it will be the most difficult task any Spurs championship team would ever have to overcome to snag a Larry O’Brien trophy. They won Game 6 of the Western Conference finals with Parker playing limited minutes before halftime and not playing at all after halftime. So I wouldn’t count them out if they have to play the Heat without Parker at full strength. The Spurs are deep enough, talented enough and experienced enough to win this series but it cannot be done without Parker playing at somewhere in the 80 percent (yes, I used the dreaded percentage) range.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Well, they beat OKC without him. Then again, that was only for a half (plus an OT). And without a 100-percent dose of Parker for an entire series, I’m not sure they can beat Miami. The Heat always struggle against elite point guards, and Parker puts pressure on Miami’s Chalmers/Norris combo to perform, or at least to perform well enough offensively to make Parker work. Also, if Parker isn’t healthy, Miami won’t have to use LeBron James against him defensively, freeing up James to guard whoever happens to get hot for the Spurs. I think San Antonio can win a game or two without Parker being 100 percent, but if they want to win the series, they need every bit of what Parker brings.

Davide Chinellato, NBA Italia: No, they can’t. The Spurs need Parker at his best to have a chance to beat the Heat. He’s the director of a perfect orchestra: They can live without him for half a game like they did with the Thunder, even for a whole game. But for a series? Against the two times defending champing? Nope, not even a chance. Pop should keep him locked up in a safe place until it’s game time.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: They won in OKC without Parker in the second quarter and overtime, didn’t they? Even if they are a team that is built in such a fashion around the Big Three, the Spurs have found the way to be efficient even if one of them is not in top form. On the other hand in a long series it will be a big blow for San Antonio not to have Parker, who, after all was their best player in the last year’s series. The Spurs with their team play have gained our trust, that they can pull this off. Especially if they gain from a post-oriented game (Duncan) and wear down LeBron (Green-Leonard).

Rubens Borges, NBA Brasil: It will surely make their job harder but not impossible. Parker’s ankle should limit him some but, unless he is hurting as much as he was during Game 6 versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, he should be alright. If he can’t go (and may the basketball gods PLEASE not allow injuries to keep anyone out) San Antonio will lose their best weapon. Having Tony break down defenses is essential to beating Miami. In short, they might win with a hobbled Parker, but if injuries limit him too much, no.

15 Comments

  1. tylorras says:

    UNBIASED
    The heat were playing with an unhealthy Dwayne Wade last year, combined with a poor performance from Bosh. The Spurs are playing this year with an injured TP, I don’t know if any of you actually watched the series last year, but the only reason that the Spurs won several games were due to huge performances from TP…. Heat in 5.

  2. pacerscheated says:

    3 peat boom its over!

  3. atlantico says:

    I think the spurs has more posibilities to win the finals without Tony Parker.

    • Patrick says:

      @atlantico, I totally agree…Even though Parker is the best point man the Spurs have and does make a difference, I think the combination of Patty Mills, Manu Ginobli and Corey Joseph, can get the job done too. I don’t think the Heat can deal with the depth of the Spurs bench. The Spurs will win, this time around…

  4. KingLBjBoy says:

    Heat in 5 Games Maximum

    You will witness the best of him this series

    Its over before it even started

  5. KingLBjBoy says:

    Its possible if you know the game they need parker to beat the heat
    Timmy and Manu cannot beat the heat

    Everyone thinks Spurs are the better team this year,Yes they are but the best player on the Planet is Playing for the heat
    Dont forget that….

  6. lino says:

    chuckle. what i’m really dreaming about is seeing james NOT cry to the officials after virtually every single offensive play where the heat do not score. yes, i know, it’s an impossible dream, but… oh, and yes, come back here after the spurs win four games within the next two weeks.

  7. hehe says:

    people seem to forget parker was also hurt in last years finals.. and they took it pretty far. however, towards the end, it became quite apparent. spurs fans should just hope wade doesn’t do “anything” to keep any of the spurs’ players off the floor

  8. Shut up FranB says:

    I strongly hope that Tony Parker can recover as close to 100% and the Spurs can revenge with their strongest form!

    Without a healthy Tony Parker, Spur’s chance will be very small. He is the the heart of the team, engine of the offence and the magician who can alter the game. John Schuhmann is right and three as a whole is needed.

    Game 6 of WCF doesn’t mean anything as it is a story of the Spurs beating a seriously hurt (Ibaka, Reggie) and tired (Durant, Westbrook) OKC. But Heat is not a weak enemy and they will be ready! Thus we need TP back in order to have our revenge!

  9. esc says:

    Hate to burst any bubbles, but since it is my nature to educate- the Spurs cannot beat the Heat with Parker healthy, or hindered. Keep in mind, Miami beat the Spurs last year with a banged up Wade and an inept Bosh. Now Wade is healthy and he along with Bosh are playing their best basketball. Now for the equalizer- James. LeBron would NEVER- EVER allow midgets like Danny Green, or Kawahi Leonard neutralize him like Durant did. Take nothing from Leonard’s excellent defense, but as we all should have learned last year, (Leonard learned as well), there is no denying a healthy Miami team. For the dreamers- I will wake you when it is over…

    • Patrick says:

      @esc. Now that you have shot your mouth off, I guess you can, withdraw from your ignorance. You are going to find out the hard way, this year, what the Spurs are made of and they will beat the Heat, big time this year, OVER AND OUT!!!

    • Hector says:

      Dont bother educating last year what percentage did lebron shoot ? Especialky when diaw was guarding him, that was before leonard has become a defensive anchor this year not last year and diaw is actually playing better. Look up lebrons % against diaw last year.

  10. C says:

    Remember how close they were last year after Parker injured his ankle when the series was still tied 1-1?

    • Marco29 says:

      Yeah, but look at the outcome.
      Parker gave his last forces to give them the famous 5 point lead late in game 6 but was worned out in OT and in game 7.
      Last year’s series would have been different if he was 100% and this year will be different too.
      Yet overall, Spurs are better than in 2013 especially Ginobili. Diaw is also a playmaker and Mills and Joseph are interesting too.
      In the end, it would decrease SA’s chances but it could still be enough to win it all.
      Anyway, let’s hope everybody is healthy….