While the slumping San Antonio Spurs are tied for the Western Conference lead, they may have to continue their quest for the No. 1 seed without their All-Star point guard.
Tony Parker is unlikely to be available Saturday night as the Spurs go for a 15th consecutive home win over the Atlanta Hawks.
After sitting out Wednesday’s 98-84 win over Orlando due to a sore left ankle, Parker returned the following night in a crucial matchup at Oklahoma City. Parker, though, finished with two points on 1-of-6 shooting before leaving with a shin injury in a 100-88 loss.
Losers in three of four, the Spurs, who also continue to play without the injured Manu Ginobili (strained hamstring), are tied with the Thunder for first place in the West. Oklahoma City holds the tiebreaker.
Just as Gregg Popovich voiced his concerns on Tony Parker’s injury, Tim Duncan also did with NBA.Com.
“Obviously, Tony’s down, Manu’s down, so it’s a concern, especially in this part of the season,” said Tim Duncan, averaging 22.2 points and 11.9 rebounds over his last 10 games. “But it’s part of the game, so we’ve got to play through it.”
Though the San Antonio Spurs would like to have Tony Parker back to ride out the rest of the regular season (six games left), it is not time to look towards the playoffs and having him at full strength.
Parker, averaging team highs of 20.6 points and 7.5 assists, is one of just three players averaging at least 20.0 and 7.0 per game.
The Spurs now turn their attention to Atlanta (42-35), which has been outscored by an average of 18.6 points during its skid in San Antonio. The Hawks have also dropped 11 of 12 in the series overall, including four straight.
Parker had 23 points and 12 assists in the Spurs’ 98-93 win at Atlanta on Jan. 19.
The Hawks are coming off Friday’s 101-90 loss to Philadelphia. Josh Smith had 19 points and Al Horford added 18 and 10 rebounds, but Atlanta was never really in it after getting outscored 40-26 in the first quarter.
This marks the last game against the Eastern Conference for San Antonio.
Barring any scratches from both coaches, here are the probable starters, in my eyes.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
Nando De Colo – Devin Harris
Danny Green – Jeff Teague
Kawhi Leonard – Kyle Korver
Tim Duncan – Josh Smith
Tiago Splitter – Al Horford
Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair – Ivan Johnson, DeShawn Stevenson
Manu Ginobili (Hamstring)
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
Who: San Antonio Spurs (56-20) vs Atlanta Hawks (42-35)
When: April 6 at 7:30 PM (Spurs Time)
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio Texas
Television: FSSW Radio: 1200 AM WOAI
Perspective on the Atlanta Hawks can be found by heading over to Fansided’s own Soaring Down South.