In a recent article from the San Antonio Express News, ailing Tony Parker was reported to have participated in light practice after the Spurs recent loss to the Philadelphia 76ers before the team headed to Auburn Hills, Michigan to play the Detroit Pistons.
Hobbling Spurs point guard Tony Parker participated in the team's light practice before leaving Philadelphia for Detroit this afternoon, and remains a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Pistons.
Parker has been dealing with a litany of injuries this season, the most recently being a lingering hip flexor strain that has been bothering him since a Feb. 8 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers.
A litany of injuries indeed. Not only is he suffering from the hip flexor injury, he also suffered from a bout of plantar fasciitis and suffered an ankle injury this past November. Spurs fans should also not forget he played this past summer for the French national team where he suffered an injury to his ankle. He sat out of the Pistons game to have an MRI to reveal the extent of the hip flexor injury. It was also reported this particular injury has not responded well to treatment.
Rest seems exactly what the doctor would order for Parker and it's time the Spurs coaching staff give it to him.
In the short-term it does not matter if Parker misses some games. The Spurs will be done with the Rodeo Road Trip and George Hill is more than capable of running the point guard position while Parker rests. Not to mention Roger Mason did run the point for the Spurs last season. Granted these two players are not at the caliber of Parker but Spurs fans must consider the long-term benefits of a well rested and healed Parker. And Parker's style of play must be considered. His ability to get into the paint lends to him getting banged up by the big men of the NBA. Not to mention he falls on the floor so many times which only heightens his risk of a major injury, which could lead to him being out for the season.
Should the Spurs make the playoffs, this Spurs team will need its floor general ready to go. Currently the Spurs are seventh seed in the playoffs hunt. This would pit them against the second seed, the Denver Nuggets and Chauncey Billups. The Spurs would need a healthy Parker to go at Billups and the Nuggets. Not to take anything away from Hill, but Parker's ability score in the paint, familiarity with the team, and playoff experience would only help the team's chances at success in the playoffs. A banged up Parker would not.
I am not proposing the Spurs sit Parker for the rest of the season but a week off would do him wonders. And when he would come back, monitor his minutes and save him for the post-season.
The way this Spurs team is playing this season, it is not out of the realm of possibility this team might miss the playoffs for the first time in the Tim Duncan era. With 28 games remaining in the Spurs season, every game counts. Especially in the Western conference. And a healthy Parker is one of many factors for the Spurs in making the playoffs or not.