Don’t Forget The Alamo …………… Let’s Hope For The San Antonio Spurs The End Isn’t The Same
Just when I thought things were looking good for the San Antonio Spurs and their ambitions for this season having lured me into the feeling of high expectations . All of a sudden the lug nuts on the tires have started to come off and by that the news I mean that the team’s point guard Tony Parker will be missing from the squad for the next two to four weeks due to an unforeseen injury. Granted, the team has been playing well with younger members on the squad having contributed greatly to the team’s success this season.
Slide show for your perusal.
Courtesy of AP Press & Yahoo Sports
By Paul J Weber Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP)—San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker will likely miss two to four weeks with a sore calf muscle, handing the NBA’s top team its first significant injury after coasting all season with unusually perfect health.
Parker strained his left calf in Sunday’s win over Memphis. He had started every game during a blazing start for the NBA-best Spurs, who can match their 50-win total from last season late Tuesday when they play the Grizzlies again.
Parker is averaging 17.1 points and 6.6 assists, piloting a refreshened offense that is quicker, higher-scoring and no longer revolving around Tim Duncan.
“When Tony’s on the court the whole dynamic of the team changes,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said after Sunday’s victory. “He’s so good at breaking the first line and finding open teammates or finishing. He gives us another great weapon offensively.”
George Hill will likely take Parker’s place. He’ll get only a couple warm-up games in the starting lineup before the Spurs face LeBron James and Miami for the first time Friday.
The Heat are the first of two big back-to-back games for the Spurs, who also play the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in their third meeting this season.
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Coach Gregg Popovich obviously has liked what he’s seen from players such as DeJuan Blair , Tiago Splitter , George Hill , Gary Neal and seasoned veteran Antonio McDyess have all played their part in the team’s success this season. Surprisingly they still have the best record in the league and as well the best record in the Western Conference and within the Southwest Division where they lead their instate rivals the Dallas Mavericks by a six games .
Now while there’s no denying that the loss of Parker won’t be significantly felt the feeling is that the team will survive , albeit, without the Frenchman’s unique style of play. That being said Popovich and his assistant coaches will press Gary Neal to step in as Parker’s replacement whilst his teammate recuperates from his injury. Neal has surprised not only the fans with his play and leadership skills but I’d dare say that a number of his teammates as well.
And while Neal will be there to be the oncourt point guard the team will now have to look to Manu Ginobli , Tim Duncan , Richard Jefferson and McDyess to step up their game . I’ve no doubt that the team will make the NBA Playoffs but herein lies the caveat if they can withstand the loss of Parker without seeing their conference and divisional lead disappear then I think that the situation will ultimately be to their advantage. A match-up against a lesser deemed foe within the conference is far better than one against a team that could prove be oh so dangerous !
The added intrigue in all of this , is to see whether or not the team’s form over the season can be borne out through its remainder. No one and I mean absolutely no one , including this avid Spurs’ fans expected this team have had such a remarkable regular season ! The talk may well have been of the Boston Celtics , the reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers , the Miami Heat and their contingent of superstars led by LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh . And dare one now include within that mix the newly revamped —- New York Knicks with their addition of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to complement — Amar’e Stoudemire there at Madison Square Garden ?
This now becomes the final turn before the teams hit final stretch of the season and while there’s a great deal of speculation as to who may well end up being the NBA League MVP I’m realistic enough to know that the Spurs may well not have a player afforded a nod in that direction but were there an award for team of the season then I firmly believe that they would have to be considered for that accolade !
As a fan of the San Antonio Spurs I’d like to see this organization win a fifth NBA title with Gregg Popovich at the helm . He’s been by far the most successful coach that the team has had and in many peoples’ eyes perhaps beyond Phil Jackson he might just be the best coach in the NBA . Most certainly he has to rank up there amongst the all time greats of the game who’ve coached in the NBA. As I alluded to earlier the season now as such becomes one where the contenders will jockey themselves for position . The NBA playoffs will be a great indicator as to what we’re about to expect and are likely to see. I’ve no doubt that teams such as the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are .likely to create one or two surprises not unlike some that we’ve seen over the past few seasons within the NBA .
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I certainly now believe that this season within the NBA will be one of the more openly intriguing ones in recent memory . The Los Angeles Lakers have had their struggles as of late and their inconsistency and unpredictability now makes them all the more vulnerable and susceptible of being dethroned of their title . Certainly , I do believe that GM Mitch Kupchak should’ve delved into the trade deadline market and at least bolstered the roster but instead they chose to remain ___ stand pat going with the team at present. We’ll now see whether not Phil Jackson can get the Lakers play like defending champions or simply just play the role of mock contenders .
How do you now see the remainder of the season playing out and what impressions have you of the early part of the season and the play of the teams and certain players in particular ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) Memphis Grizzlies forward Shane Battier (31) takes a rebound away from San Antonio Spurs guard Chris Quinn (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Memphis won 109-93 . AP Photo/Lance Murphey ……..
(2) San Antonio Spurs’ Gary Neal (14) and Tim Duncan leave the court after the Spurs’ 109-93 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. AP Photo/Lance Murphey………..
(3) Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili , of Argentina, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Memphis won 109-93 . AP Photo/Lance Murphey ………
(4) Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) goes to the basket between San Antonio Spurs forward Richard Jefferson (24) and guard George Hill (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Memphis won 109-93. AP Photo/Lance Murphey ……….
(5) Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after he is called for a technical foul in the second half against the Boston Celtics on January 5, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Spurs 105-103 . Elsa Martinez/Getty Images North America ……..
(6) Memphis Grizzlies’ Shane Battier, left, and Mike Conley, right, try to strip the ball from San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game , Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Darren Abate ……….
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