San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Determining Factors

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Tony Parker’s Health

May 8, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) passes the ball under the basket against Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez (left) in game two of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 114-97. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With Ibaka out, the Spurs are desperately going to need a healthy Tony Parker to fully take advantage of the paint.

As most know, Parker’s dribble penetration is the key to the Spurs’ offense.  Without it, the Spurs rely on Manu Ginobili to fill that role as playmaker.  Unforunately, Manu took a step back last series against Portland compared to his play against Dallas.  With Manu being in a funk, the Spurs really do not have anyone to exploit the paint in Ibaka’s absence.

If Parker can even play 80 percent healthy and cause havoc in the paint as usual, then the Spurs have a very good chance of dominating the Thunder and diminishing the chance of an upset.

The biggest worry is if Parker aggravates that hammy even more.

Last year in the NBA Finals, Parker suffered a Grade-2 hamstring strain and was noticeably not himself through the rest of the series. The Spurs are going to need a healthy Tony Parker, but not one that overexerts himself and increases the likelihood of great injury.

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Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs 2014 Western Conference Finals Kawhi Leonard Kevin Durant San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan Tony Parker

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