Tony Parker made his first four shots and scored 10 points in the Spurs’ win over the Grizzlies yesterday, but he left the game during the first quarter and didn’t return.
Parker, who averages 16.8 points and 5.8 assists per game, is obviously key to San Antonio’s playoffs hopes – as has been the case for the last 12 years. Will the Spurs get him for this year’s postseason?
Spurs All-Star Tony Parker is scheduled for an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday’s 112-92 victory over Memphis in the first quarter with back spasms, coach Gregg Popovich said.
It marks the latest in a string of nagging injuries for Parker this season, who has missed 11 games with a mild ankle sprain, a shin contusion, tightness in his low back, a sore Achilles and the “variety of maladies” that earned him a lengthy convalescence in late February.
The Spurs have been excellent when Parker plays (offensive rating: 108.1/defensive rating: 100.4/net rating: +7.7). They’ve been even better on both ends when backup point guard Patty Mills plays (108.7/98.1/+10.6).
Mills’ minutes have been more carefully chosen, and nobody could rationally argue he’s better than Parker. But if the Spurs need to reduce Parker’s load, they’re in relatively good hands with Mills.
Popovich is always prone to resting his veterans, and that’s even more true now that San Antonio has a 4.5-game lead for the No. 1 seed. The Spurs can clinch the top seed as soon as tomorrow. Regardless of the MRI results, don’t expect much Parker the rest of the regular season.
But these tests could say a lot about what to expect from San Antonio in the playoffs.