On Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs evened their best of seven NBA Western Conference semifinal series with the Houston Rockets at one win apiece with a convincing rout of 121-96.
However, in the process the Spurs lost Tony Parker to an injury. The point guard for San Antonio was injured after driving the lane during the fourth quarter and with his injury the Spurs face an uphill challenge in this series and the conference finals if they make it that far.
Following the game, no diagnosis of Parker’s injury was released but head coach Gregg Popovich simply stated, “It is not good.”
When he was injured, Parker remained sprawled on the court and did not move until the Spurs trainers reached him. After being lifted up, he was unable to apply any weight on his left leg due to a knee injury and was carried from the court by his teammates Dewayne Dedmon and Dejounte Murray and put into a wheelchair.
Now Popovich will have to come up with the best game plan of his illustrious career as an NBA coach to prepare for Game 3 in Houston on Friday.
Popovich had made some changes following the Spurs loss in Game 1 by applying more pressure on Rockets high scorer James Harden by Kawhi Leonard the Spurs’ top defender.
The different looks from the Spurs defense produced a 3 for 17 night of shooting for the league’s second highest scorer during the regular season, who finished the night scoring just 13 points.
Popovich extended the Spurs lead at the beginning of the fourth by using an undersized lineup that completely surprised Houston. One weapon he used was Jonathon Simmons, who for the past month only played mop up minutes.
During the just ended regular season, Parker did not play in 19 games due to injuries to his quadriceps, back, one foot and both knees.
However, he was always close to returning to 100% and giving them his talent and experience for the postseason. The playoffs started and Parker, who is nearly 35, started to play like he did when he was a perennial All-Star.
Teammate Manu Ginobili thought Parker suffered a charley horse because at the start it looked as if he grabbed his quad.
San Antonio will not just lose its point guard it has had for 16 seasons, but all the knowledge and experience he has gained during his playoff career, as he has had a way to calm things down and keep control on the court.