Spurs downfall. Is it Time to Panic?
By Ivan Mora
Ever since I can remember, and it’s honestly going to hurt me to say this, I was one of those believers in the classic old saying, “They’re getting old.” In all honesty, you truly have to understand where I was coming from. Who knew that at 38 years old, Tim Duncan would be doing marvelous things that at times even a fresh young rookie can’t do? Thats why I think the answer to the question in everyone’s head is NO! It’s not time to panic. Well at least not yet. I think that actually might be a tad bit too much to come to that conclusion. For lack of a better word, we’ll just use the appropriate term here which is worry. That’s a better fit.
I am worried though that these Spurs aren’t the defending champions were used to seeing. 0-4 since the All-Star is a legitimate reason to start panicking, especially with how Tony Parker has been playing. It’s like he has completely disappeared from the face of the league. He is by far going through his worst slump ever and that is taking it all the way back to his rookie season. The 4-time NBA champion seems to have hit a brick wall and can’t seem to get up.
Feb 25, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews (2) goes up for a shot against San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
What is causing Tony Parker such inconsistency this season?
Well when you look at a power hungry point-guard league, you can’t help but notice that #9 has always been in the top 5. Now it seems since the competition just keeps on getting harder and harder, Parker has been slipping from the rankings. His stats speak for themselves.
He is down to .462 FG % this season compared to his previous 2 of .499 and .522. His FG attempts have also drastically lowered by close to half from last season and that just keeps on hurting the Spurs offensively. San Antonio is scoring 3.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with Parker on the floor, per NBA.com/Stats and allowing an incredible 7.2 per 100 more at the defensive end. His assists aren’t making things better either averaging 4.9 a game marking it his second lowest since his rookie season.
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It seems like he is losing that urgency and consistency that has always delivered when he needed it the most. With that in mind though, I still don’t think the Spurs should hit the panic button and quit on this season. At least not yet. While we are noticing a significant drop in Tony Parkers stats, he know’s it’s just a slump and he has the full support of his team and more than anything, the full support of the Big Fundamental. Tim Duncan has shown signs of new life this season as he is posterizing the stat line while striving to secure that playoff spot in the West.
He is averaging, and actually has been for the past 3 seasons, close to a double double this year with 15 points and 9 rebounds. He is doing it all while maintaining a pretty solid .500 FG%. Timmy has been the most productive player this season and he knows he needs to keep it up as long as his teammates are struggling. With Ginobili slowly complimenting the big 3 off the bench with 12 points and 5 rebounds, Duncan needs to help Tony shake off that funk so he can get back to finishing the season on a strong note. We’re talking about the 5 time NBA champions here and It isn’t over yet! I sense the Spurs have one final big push ahead of them.
With 25 games left in the season, Spurs have to come together and fix that chemistry fast in order to keep their season going come April. Right now as the rankings currently stand, they are 2 games ahead of Oklahoma and 3 games behind the Clippers. They need to turn around their Rodeo Road Trip and take advantage of their remaining schedule so they won’t be left out 2 months from now. I have never seen Tony fall down this bad late in the season, but I don’t think it will continue. He is a game, maybe 2, from exploding and resurging into the old Tony we know and love. So that’s why I think, despite this 4 game losing streak, it’s not time to panic. We know the Spur’s love a good challenge and are definitely fit for the tough road ahead of them. So, no don’t panic Spurs fans, not yet.