Tony Parker

Who sits out for Spurs tonight? Parker, Leonard


I’m sure they are injured. Officially. I mean if this were a playoff game they’d be out there but David Stern set up the rules when he fined the Spurs for resting players earlier this year — the last couple weeks whenever a player is rested he is officially listed as injured. There isn’t a player in the NBA without the bumps and bruises to be listed as injured right now.

So tonight, it is Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard who are injured and resting for the Spurs, tweets Sam Amick of the USA Today. Manu Ginobili also will be out with the hamstring injury that could have his sitting even when the playoffs start.

Not that any of it should matter against Orlando Wednesday.

The Spurs have lost two in a row and have a one-game lead over the Thunder for the best record in the West. Gregg Popovich has shown in the past that getting players rested and healthy matters more to him than seeding heading into the postseason. Which means there is a real chance the Thunder could pass the Spurs for the top spot.

The Thunder and Spurs face off on Thursday, we’ll see who — if anyone — Popovich rests for that game.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.