It appears the San Antonio Spurs will be without the services of their starting point guard for the next few weeks.
Tony Parker was diagnosed with a strained left soleus after undergoing an MRI earlier today and is expected to be out of the lineup for two to four weeks.
He will not be joining the Spurs on their road games in Memphis and Cleveland.
The soleus is one of the muscles in the calf, which Parker strained in last night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Parker out, George Hill will likely be inserted into the starting lineup. Manu Ginobili might see some extra time at the point and Chris Quinn could see an increase in minutes.
I also wouldn't be too surprised if the Spurs signed a player to a 10-day contract as extra insurance.
Curtis Stinson of the Iowa Energy is considered one of the best point guards in the D-League and could be a candidate for a call-up along with former Spurs guard Antonio Daniels, who plays for the Texas Legends.
It appears the San Antonio Spurs will be without the services of their starting point guard for the next few weeks.
With the flurry of trades made in the NBA last week, and in particular in the Western Conference, how does it affect the San Antonio Spurs who pretty much stood pat?
Our good friend Jon Lee of Accuscore sent us this breakdown of the Western Conference teams win-loss projections and playoff probabilities after the trade deadline and as you can see, not much has changed.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made a great trade to acquire Kendrick Perkins from the Boston Celtics and former Spur Nazr Mohammed from the Charlotte Bobcats to shore up their middle.
Here is what Accuscore had to say about the Thunder's moves and how it affects the Spurs:
Oklahoma City only improved its per game winning percentage slightly at 1.3 percent, but the full benefit of picking up two centers in Perkins and Mohammed will be more evident in the playoffs agaisnt teams like the Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks. The Thunder have long coveted a defensive center, and now have the size to deal with the Lakers and Spurs in the West.
What about the trade the Memphis Grizzlies, who might face the Spurs in the opening round of the playoffs, made to acquire Shane Battier?
Shane Battier is not projected for big numbers with Memphis, but the Grizzlies did improve their playoff chances the most at +8.8 percent.
Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 35 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs (49-10) to a 95-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (33-28) that extended the team’s franchise-record to 21 consecutive home wins.
Tony Parker sustained a left thigh contusion when he collided with Memphis guard Mike Conley with 3:25 left in the second quarter. Parker didn't return in the second half, and will be examined on Monday. His status is day-to-day.
It's now time to checkout the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' win.
89.5 - The Grizzlies shot well from the foul line, making 17-of-19 (89.5%) of their free throw attempts. However, the Spurs had a huge advantage on free throw attempts and did a decent job at it, making 26-of-33 (78.8%) shots from the foul line.
48 - Memphis dominated the inside battle, outscoring the Spurs 48-26 on inside points.
46.2 - The Spurs shot fairly well, connecting on 30-of-65 (46.2%) attempts from the floor while holding the Grizzlies to just 33-of-88 (37.5%) shooting from the field.
45.5 - The Grizzlies made their shots from beyond the arc, hitting 5-of-11 (45.5%) from the three point line. The Spurs weren't that bad, connecting on 9-of-21 (42.9%) attempts from behind the arc.
41 - Memphis edged the Spurs in the rebounding department 41-40.
Hoop Heads North: Even though the Spurs have the leagues best record, do you feel like they're the underdog and are seemingly flying under the radar?
Michael De Leon (Project Spurs): I don't think they are flying under the radar anymore, but they certainly are not getting the respect they deserve. However, if you ask any Spurs player, they wouldn't have it any other way. Respect is earned in the postseason.
HHN: In one of your recent posts, you linked to a quote of Kobe's where he stated that he believes the Celtics are the Lakers biggest threat. Do you agree or disagree?
• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had glowing remarks about Gary Neal after the win against the Oklahoma City Thunder:
"Gary Neal was super because he also assisted for three, four layups in between making shots," Popovich said. "He had a great, great run and played a complete game in that regard." (commercialappeal.com)
• With all the player movement and players demanding trades, The National reminds Spurs fans how rare a player Tim Duncan is for San Antonio:
Whether next it is Chris Paul wanting to move to New York or Dwight Howard eying Los Angeles, the rich franchises intend to stay fat and happy, while the smaller markets struggle. Rare is a player such as Tim Duncan, happy to spend his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs.
• Forbes.com reminded Spurs fans that it's the Los Angeles Lakers who have more NBA titles:
In basketball, the Houston Rockets won two titles when Chicago Bull legend Michael Jordan unexpectedly took two years off, the San Antonio Spurs are a model of championship consistency, but combined they’ll never measure up to the Lakers’ myriad titles over numerous decades.
• Express News' Tim Griffin shares the players and coaches quotes the Spurs media staff hands out after the win against the New Jersey Nets.
• The Spurs D-League affiliate Austin Toros lost a tough game that went into double overtime against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last night. Click HERE for the recap at Toros Nation.
• The Faster Times has the Spurs ranked number one after the NBA trade deadline in their Power Rankings.
• Check out the Spurs in their best tuxedos and tennis shoes at the 23rd Tux and Tennis Gala:
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (48-10) vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (33-27)
|SPURS||Manu Ginobili 17.9||Tim Duncan 9.2||Tony Parker 6.7|
|GRIZZLIES||Zach Randolph 20.1||Zach Randolph 13.1||Mike Conley 6.6|
The San Antonio Spurs looks for a franchise record 21 straight home win tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies at the AT&T Center. The Spurs (48-10) are coming off a 106-96 victory over the New Jersey Nets last Friday.
Manu Ginobili had 26 points and George Hill pumped in 19 points off the bench in the team's latest win. San Antonio's 20th consecutive win at the AT&T Center tied their best home win streak established by the 1989-1990 team.
The Grizzlies (33-27) are again without Rudy Gay, who will miss at least another three weeks due to a dislocated shoulder, and his absence made the team acquire Shane Battier from Houston at the trade deadline.
Battier played on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings and scored three points, but it was Memphis' big men who sealed the win. Zach Randolph had 23 points, Marc Gasol had 21 and seldom used Hamed Haddad had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-92 rout. The Grizzlies are averaging a league-best 50.3 points in the paint and scored 78 inside points against the Kings.
Combined with Utah's loss, Memphis moved into the Western Conference's No. 8 slot, potentially setting up a first-round matchup with the Spurs.
San Antonio won their first meeting against the Grizzlies this season 112-106 in overtime.
Hit the jump for the keys of the game and find out which team will win this matchup.
• Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says chemistry is key to the San Antonio Spurs as well as the Mavericks:
While trades swirled all around them, the West's top three teams -- Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks -- stayed as is.
"I think it's a sign that chemistry is really important, and I know that San Antonio feels like that as well," Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "When you got it, don't mess with it." (startribune.com)
• Ipcexpress.com says the Spurs are set to make a run at the NBA title:
San Antonio also presents one of the most well rounded line-ups in the league. As of the All-Star Break the Spurs are currently sixth in the league in points per game, but also fifth in the league in assists and fourth in field goal percentage. Spurs guards Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are averaging over 17 points while Spurs forwards Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson are both averaging over 12 points. Their bench is solid as well, with players like Antonio McDyess playing solid defense, helping the Spurs hold their opponents to 96 points per game.
All in all, the Spurs are set to make an epic title run.
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about Manu Ginobili's big scoring game versus the New Jersey Nets.
• Former Spurs Assistant GM and current Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti talks about Thunder's newst player and former Spur Nazr Mohammad when they both were in San Antonio:
Presti knows that firsthand because he crossed paths with Mohammed in San Antonio. He remembers being in Detroit for a Christmas game and going to the hotel fitness center.
“And Nazr had already beat me there,” Presti said. “And he was lathered up pretty good.”
The Spurs weren't practicing that day and were giving the guys a day off.
“But he knew that (working out) was important for him to be ready the next day,” Presti said. (newsok.com)
• By now all Spurs fans have heard the song dedicated to the Spurs titled "Black and Silver" and Spurs' Gary Neal and George Hill like the song:
"I think it's a good song," said Spur Gary Neal.
George Hill said he could have got in the booth with the music makers to lay down a couple of tracks.
"Hopefully, me and DB (DeJuan Blair) are going to do a remix," Hill said. "So, be on the lookout." (kens5.com)
In case you missed it, the San Antonio Spurs D-League affiliate Austin Toros took on their rival and defending D-League champions Rio Grande Valley Vipers last week on the road and were able to get the upset win, 111-99.
However, the Toros win was overshadowed by the refs and the crazy ending to the game.
Look what happened with 1:25 seconds left in the game.
Manu Ginobili scored 26 points to help the San Antonio Spurs (48-10) beat the New Jersey Nets (17-41) 106-96 in Deron Williams' debut in Nets uniform at the AT&T Center.
The game was close at half time but the Spurs pulled away in second half behind a strong third quarter effort.
What are the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' latest victory? Let's find out!
84.6 - The Spurs made their free throws, hitting 22-of-26 (84.6%) shots from the foul line. The Nets weren't that bad either, making 17-of-21 (81.0%) of their free throw attempts.
50 - San Antonio dominated the inside battle, outscoring the Nets 50-30 on inside points.
46.3 - The Spurs shot fairly well, connecting on 38-of-82 (46.3%) attempts from the floor while holding the Nets to 37-of-85 (43.5%) from the field.
42 - San Antonio made their shots from beyond the arc, hitting 8-of-19 (42.1%) from the three point line. The Nets on the other hand made only 5-of-21 (23.8%) attempts from behind the arc. The Spurs also out-rebounded the Nets 42-37.
35 - The Spurs outscored the Nets 35-18 in the third quarter to build a 14 point lead entering the final period.
27 - The Nets shared the ball better, dishing out 27 assists compared to the Spurs' 22. However, the Spurs edged the Nets on fast break points 27-25.
26 - Manu Ginobili had a game-high 26 points and added six rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block for the Spurs.
• By now all San Antonio Spurs fans have heard what Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry has said about the Spurs but now Mavericks' Jason Kidd chimed in:
“We don’t mind that. When you look at the defending champs, the Lakers, and how San Antonio’s playing and then Boston and then you have Miami. You talk about those teams and when you do talk about those teams, we’ve beat those teams. We don’t have to be talked about til June and hopefully we’ll be the one team representing the Western Conference.” (sportsradiointerviews.com)
• The Spurs did not make any trades prior to the NBA trade deadline but what does Spurs' Manu Ginobili have to say about the team standing pat?
• Check out this video starring Spurs' Tim Duncan and legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach on Duncan's bank-shot:
• Express News' Tim Griffin spoke about there being no rest for the Spurs despite the lead in the Southwest Division.
Hit the jump to read about Spurs legend George Gervin in India, former Spur Steve Smith giving back to his alma mater, and more.
New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson spent the majority of his career in San Antonio as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Nicknamed the "Little General," he won his first NBA title with the Spurs in 1999 and still remains a fan favorite in San Antonio.
With his number six jersey hanging in the rafters of the AT&T Center, it's no surprise he's glad to be back as the Spurs host the Nets.
"It feels good. It feels good to be in a situation where the weather is beautiful," Johnson said. "I've been kind of cold in the New York-New Jersey area. We've had a few blizzards so it felt good to go on my walk which I like to do on gamedays and start sweating, so it's good. It's good to be back in this building."
As for the team his Nets are playing tonight, the Spurs, there is no doubt in his mind that they are the best in the NBA.
"Right now they're the best team in the NBA. A team that plays the right way and it's also exciting with the trades that we made and the new additions to our team," said Johnson.
As Johnson mentioned, yesterday the Nets made a surprising trade deadline deal with the Utah Jazz which brought over All-Star point guard Deron Williams and for Johnson, he knows it's a positive step for the Nets.
"This is a step in the right direction for our team. I would hope that he plays 36 plus. I'm expecting him to play his normal minutes," said Johnson.
Johnson also talked about his former teammate Tim Duncan and his role being similar to Spurs legend David Robinson.
Johnson said, "Both he and David for a long period of time dominated their positions. Then they both got to a stage where they thought 'You know I can't just turn it on like I used to. Still in the top three or five in my position but I'm not the number one guy at my position anymore' and you need to pass the baton and allow other guys to help you."
"That's what Tim has done and he learned it from a great teacher. He's done it with such dignity and class and I think it's great on his part to know what stage of his career he's in and boy, he's had a hall of fame career and definitely the best power forward to ever play the game," Johnson said.