Found April 12, 2013 on
AT&T CENTER--For a month upheaval has been the new status quo up and down the San Antonio Spurs lineup, with the instability finally seeping into the Spurs' play over that time.
Manu Ginobili's status remains unclear, though coach Gregg Popovich assured reporters he's progressing. Boris Diaw could be out for a month, his season-long nagging back spasms turning out to be a condition necessitating surgery. And of course there was the release of forward Stephen Jackson, whose release from the team was made public knowledge just hours before tip-off.
But tonight the Spurs took baby steps towards reclaiming some of the stability that has become a trademark of this franchise. Tonight, Tony Parker returned.
"Tony was spectacular. You know, coming back I didn't think he'd have that kind of wind," Popovich said. "I thought he did a great job."
Parker began the game getting his previously battered legs back underneath him, content to feel the defense out and finding open teammates. It wasn't until the end of the second quarter that the Spurs got a glimpse of the explosive scoring potential missing in Parker's absence.
It began unassumingly enough, with Parker and Duncan connecting on the same high post-back door cut combination that the Spurs have been using to free Parker up for lay-ups over the years. Over the next few possessions Parker made a concerted effort to get into the paint and draw contact or finish at the rim.
When his one-man scoring burst was over, Parker had accumulated 13 points on 5-5 shooting and three free throws in just the final 3:38 of the first half.
"Starting the game he probably would have had a thousand assists, but nobody could make a shot," Popovich said. "He decided if he couldn't get an assist that he might as well score, so he started shooting it finally."
It wasn't just the scoring (22 points) or assists (of which he had 10), but the attention he drew from the (admittedly poor) Sacramento Kings defense. His presence on the court opened up recently scarce driving and passing lanes for teammates to exploit.
Alongside Parker, Danny Green--whose performance is always a good indicator of the Spurs ball movement on any given night--once again flourished, shaking free for open three-pointers (2-3 from the three-point line, 4-6 overall for 12 points) and picking up three assists while operating against a broken defense.
Reunited with at least one of his pick and roll partners, Tiago Splitter once again found comfort diving to the lane for 12 points on 4-7 shooting while also contributing six assists.
With most of the Spurs system accessible again due to Parker's presence, tt was, at last, a completely balanced scoring attack with every member of the starting lineup scoring in double figures and only Tim Duncan (18 points, 7-18 shooting) hitting under 50 percent of his shots.
"We finally got [Tony Parker] back after losing him for a couple games, so we had our offense going tonight," Kawhi Leonard said. "He started passing the ball early and got everyone involved, which is why he is an NBA All-Star."
Tonight's game certainly isn't a complete absolution of what has plagued the Spurs in recent weeks, but if Parker truly is at a reasonable level of health it is perhaps the biggest step towards that. Three games remain before the playoffs, leaving the Spurs precious little time to prepare for the playoffs.
"Everybody needs to be in a rhythm," Popovich said. "The whole team has to be together and know what's going on. We're trying to get that rotation down too. No one wants to be in that position at the end of the year, but that's the way it is and you've just got to deal with it and move on."
Moving forward, even past injuries and unexpected roster upheaval, is a lot easier with Tony Parker back at the helm.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Spurs and Stephen Jackson parted ways, which came as a surprise to many people. There were no hints of a previous issue.
Addition by subtraction or just a case of good riddance? Whatever the case, the San Antonio Spurs waived Stephen Jackson on the eve of the NBA playoffs Friday afternoon.
The news sent shock waves from San Antonio across the league, as many wondered why a squad with title aspirations would let go of what appears to be a valuable piece now. Jackson, aka Captain Jack, won a title with...
It has finally happened. The San Antonio Spurs have given up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. If the playoffs began today they would play seventh-seeded Houston in the first round, which is to say the ship is taking on water.
It is a waste of time to predict how the Spurs will look in the playoffs. Two of their best players, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, are out of the...
Manu Ginobili has struggled this season with injuries and is currently sitting out because of one.
He gave San Antonio Spurs fans an update on the condition of is injured hamstring in a column for Argentinian site Canchallena.com including stating he will do everything possible to be back for the playoffs.
The injury was in a location similar to the previous one, the...
AT&T Center - “We’re getting ready for the playoffs and putting our team together, and what we want to do and who we want to do it with, and we thought that making this decision with Jack was best for the group.”
That was San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in his press conference addressing the release of forward Stephen Jackson prior to the Spurs (57-21) hosting...
The Spurs will be without big man Boris Diaw for 3-4 weeks as the team announced Friday that he underwent back surgery to remove a synovial cyst from his lumbar spine on Thursday.
Diaw, who will miss the start of the playoffs, is averaging 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22.8 minutes a game this season – 20 of them starts.
The San Antonio Spurs announced Friday afternoon they've placed former Bucks forward Stephen Jackson on waivers.
Jackson, 35, played in 55 games for the Spurs this season, averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game.
The news of Jackson's release was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, which also reported the reason for Jackson being waived...
Tony Parker had 22 points and 10 assists, and San Antonio never trailed in a 108-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday, a day the Spurs lost two key players.
Tim Duncan added 18 points, Kawhi Leonard had 15 points and Tiago Splitter and Danny Green had 12 apiece as seven players scored in double figures for San Antonio (58-21).
DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds...
Danny Green is currently the starting shooting guard for the San Antonio Spurs, but there was a time when his future was uncertain. Now inked to a three-year $12 million contract, the 2010-2011 season seems like a distant memory when Green was cut by the Cleveland Cavaliers and had no job in the NBA.
Green gives us a brief account on what he was going through during that time...
San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw underwent successful back surgery to remove a synovial cyst from his lumbar spine, the team has announced. The procedure is expected to carry with it a recovery period of three to four weeks.The Spurs initially announced that Diaw would miss two to three weeks due to the surgery, but it’s since been determined that more time will be required...
The Spurs have surprisingly waived Stephen Jackson.
The San Antonio Spurs (57-21) will host the lowly Sacramento Kings (28-50) tonight at the AT&T Center in the final meeting of the season between these two teams. Good news for the Spurs is Tony Parker will be back on the court tonight after being out with a sore neck, however, will be without Boris Diaw who will be out 3-4 weeks after back surgery to remove a cyst from his spine...
As the battle for the Western Conference number one seed comes to a near conclusion, the San Antonio Spurs are faced with a familiar dilemma -- play your star players and go for the top seed or rest your players to ensure they are ready for the playoffs?
For knowledgeable Spurs fans, it takes you one second (two if you breathe) to know what Coach Greg Popovich choice would be...
The injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs have been forced to try and get healthier while continuing their quest for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Perhaps they'll be able to do both in a home date against a team they've dominated in recent years.
The Spurs, who have one of the league's best home records at 34-5, continue their pursuit of home-court advantage throughout...
Coach Pop definitely not going to be on Stephen Jackson’s mixtape now.
Both Jackson and Thomas are ineligible for postseason, even if they are claimed off waivers.
Spurs waive Stephen Jackson. Knicks waive Kurt Thomas.
— Art Garcia (@ArtGarcia92) April 12, 2013