While suffering an apparent knee injury in game two of the Western Conference Semifinals, San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Tony Parker is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 postseason. Parker was carried off the court in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets, an injury which could alter the series.
Parker, 34, has been playing in his fifteenth season in the NBA, and every moment of it has been with the Spurs. And while he isn’t exactly the same player he was a few years ago, he still provides a go-to offensive ability when needed.
For this kind of stage of his career, Parker continues to put up considerable numbers. Through 63 games of the 201617 season, he averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 assists, in a career-low 25.3 minutes per game. In eight games in this year’s postseason, he elevated his scoring even more — to 15.9 points on 52% shooting.
Following the retirement of Tim Duncan, the longtime veteran core of he, Parker, and also Manu Ginobili has taken a downfall ever since. The helm has been passed to young forward Kawhi Leonard, who’s on his way to being a multi-time All-Star, and hopefully a multi-time champion.
Unfortunately, this could be nearing the end for Parker, as he’s played a tremendous amount of basketball throughout the last decade. We count up all of the overseas competition he’s been a part of, as well as the Euroleague tournament. Props to Parker for supporting and playing for his country, but the wear-and-tear has officially began to take it’s place on the veteran point guard.
With Parker potentially out for the season, key role players will have to step-up in his place. Patty Mills is expected to start in his place, and rookie Dejounte Murray should receive extended minutes.
Ultimately, for San Antonio, I believe they still have a chance to defeat Houston and advance to the second-round without Parker. However, with the way this series is looking, we’re definitely headed towards six or seven games to determine the winner. Regardless, whoever shall face the Golden State Warriors (if they defeat the Utah Jazz) won’t have it easy, as the Western Conference playoffs continue to heat-up.