Tony Parker has been huge against the Trail Blazers.
The Spurs’ point guard averaged 23.0 points on 52 percent shooting with 6.5 assists per game in Games 1-4 in their second-round series with Portland.
But Parker left Game 5 early in the second quarter and returned to the locker room. He’d shot just 0-for-2 in 10 minutes and hadn’t suffered any obvious injuries, though apparently his hamstring was bothering him.
At halftime, San Antonio ruled him out for the rest of the game.
Up seven entering the second half, the Spurs are in good shape to win this game. Up 3-1 in the series, they’re in even better shape to win this series.
With or without Parker, they should advance to the Western Conference finals.
But losing Parker for longer could prove a huge detriment in later rounds. The Clippers or – and beyond, the Heat – are excellent teams. The Spurs are on that level with Parker. Without him? It will be tough to return to the NBA Finals, let alone win them.