Tony Parker's injury is a blessing in disguise for the Spurs
- Author: Julie Sanders May 11, 2017,
May 11, 2017, 9:44
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker has a ruptured left quadriceps tendon and will miss the remainder of the playoffs, the team announced Thursday.
The team said Friday's procedure was performed by Spurs physician Dr. David Schmidt and a timeline for Parker's return will be determined later.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili acknowledged he might have played his last game with Tony Parker after the point guard suffered a postseason-ending and career-threatening injury Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets.
With 8:52 left in the fourth quarter, Parker immediately clutched at his left knee after a driving floater over Patrick Beverley and collapsed to the court, where he lay motionless for several minutes.
He was carried off by team-mates Dewayne Dedmon and Dejounte Murray, and did not look up as the crowd chanted his name.
Gregg Popovich, known more for his scowl and scathing responses to media, summarized the status of Parker in three words on Wednesday night.
Of the four second-round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs, only the one between the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs saw the road team steal home-court advantage. Team-mates and Houston players walked over to console him. "He's been playing well all postseason". "He's done so many things for them in the playoffs, throughout the regular season, just him not being there is going to be a huge hole for them".
"I hate it for Tony", he said. "He's a great guy; not a good guy".
Harden's 20 points in Game 1 against the Spurs were well below his average, but he still had 14 assists. Before the injury, Parker scored 18 points on 13 shots, and averaged 16.3 points per game on 53 percent shooting in the playoffs.
On Wednesday, Parker became the ninth player in National Basketball Association postseason history to reach 4,000 career points. Parker and LeBron James are now the league's only players to have scored 4,000 points and dished 1,000 assists in the postseason.
San Antonio's bench then unleashed a 10-0 blitz late in the third to extend the lead to 11 but Houston responded with an 11-4 run bridging the last two periods to trim the gap to four, 72-68, early in the fourth.
With Parker out, backup Patty Mills could move into a starting role and the Spurs will also likely give Kawhi Leonard more ball-handling responsibility.
James Harden put up 43 points, but he needs help getting buckets.
"I don't know what they've done any different, they haven't done anything different", Rockets' Mike D'Antoni said after the game.