San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker’s injury could help the team
By Tyler Clerkin
Could Tony Parker’s injury be a blessing in disguise for the San Antonio Spurs?
The San Antonio Spurs took a devastating blow when longtime point guard Tony Parker injured his quad in-game two against the Houston Rockets during last year’s playoffs. This may keep Parker off the floor until at least early 2018.
This news could seem significant since Parker has been the star point guard for the Spurs for over a decade now. But, this could be a good thing for the team.
Parker is now entering his sixteenth season in the NBA at 35 years of age.
Parker averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 assists per game last year with the Spurs. Now while these numbers are not bad, they are not as good as we have seen from the Frenchman when he was making the All-Star Team on a consistent basis.
With this injury, this could give some time for the younger players like 20-year-old guard Dejounte Murray and 23-year-old guard Derrick White, who is entering his rookie season, to gain some experience at the position.
Assuming that 29-year-old Patty Mills will still be coming off the bench to bring his energy and shooting ability during the stars’ breaks, this leaves the starting position open.
Murray averaged 3.3 points and 1.3 assists on 8.5 minutes per game last season. He will definitely be seeing a growth in minutes during Parker’s absence, which will give him more opportunities to get his numbers up.
During this offseason, Murray was spotted working out with All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas.
On That SLOW GRIND With My Brother @Isaiah_Thomas I Swear He As Real As They Come And We Rocking 4Life ? Its More Than Just Hoop ? #BeGreat pic.twitter.com/A3dheaLK9E
— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) August 12, 2017
He seems to understand that this season could be his most important one yet. Learning from an experienced point guard who has faced an uphill battle his entire career could be just what Murray needs to take the next step in his career.
White is entering his first season under the franchise.
He played his first three years college basketball with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. He then transferred to the University of Colorado where he would finish his collegiate career.
White averaged 18.1 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game with a 50.7% field goal percentage.
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With his strong work ethic, he fits into the Spurs system perfectly. If he continues the same ethic, he will likely see himself on the floor more and more each night.
But this is not the only reason Parker’s injury could be a blessing in disguise.
He already has the experience playing late in the postseason, so this could be a way to help conserve his energy for this year’s playoffs. And with him entering his sixteenth season, he doesn’t have the same longevity he had in his earlier years.
Going up against the Golden State Warriors is a daunting task and the Spurs need all of their weapons at 100% to be able to take them down.
The earliest he would be released to play is January of 2018. If he were to come back at that time, he would have roughly four months of play to get back in the swing of things.
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With a well-rested Parker, a newly experienced Murray and White, and a hungry Kawhi Leonard, this could be the year that the Spurs get back to the NBA Finals.