Found March 07, 2013 on Fox Sports Southwest:
For all those riding along on the Tony Parker MVP Bandwagon, the road to the Maurice Podoloff Trophy has hit a few potholes. And it's not because Parker is out for a month with a bum ankle. No, because the Spurs never seem to hit any potholes. San Antonio just keeps winning, moving to 2-0 without Parker after rolling over the Chicago Bulls in the second half in Wednesday night's 101-83 whitewash. Tony is certainly missed, not that anyone can tell. "It's going to be hard without Tony to win these games," Kawhi Leonard said earlier this week. Really? In the two games since Parker sprained his left ankle against Sacramento, the Spurs have crushed their foes by 57 points. MVP voters see that. They see a team that continues to operate in the next-man-up system. Not that Parker was going to overtake LeBron James in the MVP race anyway, but French point guard was at least in the conversation. He'll still be in it when he get back, it's just the talk will be whether Parker finishes in the top 3. In the meantime, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has turned over much of the playmaking responsibility to Manu Ginobili. Good decision. Manu creates havoc, as we all know, in a different style than Tony. Parker slices into the paint with a surgeon's precision and either finishes at the rim or shoots the ball out to an open shooter. Manu is a whirlwind who rifles left-handed passes into the lane at speeds Joe Flacco can appreciate. The Spurs, in the small sample size without Parker, are focusing on all five guys on the floor moving and moving the ball. "We have to with the lack of Tony's penetration, the way he does almost every play," Tim Duncan said. "We're going to move the ball and use a lot of pick-and-rolls. We're going to use a lot of body movement. Hopefully we can take advantage of that and make some shots and make some passes that makes easy baskets for us because we're going to need it." The Spurs can also rely on their depth. In addition to Ginobili picking up the slack, Pop can turn to Cory Joseph, Patty Mills, Stephen Jackson and Nando De Colo. None of those guys are Parker, but it's a solid stopgap in the interim. Gary Neal remember him? wasn't even used Wednesday night. "When you look who they're bringing off the bench, for example, Patty Mills," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's a terrific shooter. Ginobili is an All-Star. Stephen Jackson has been a great player in the league for a long time. Boris Diaw has been a starter in the league, so there's a lot coming at you." Ginobili paced the Spurs offense with 18 points and nine assists against Chicago. Over his last three games, Ginobili is averaging 14.7 points, 9.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting 59 percent from the floor and 55-percent from 3-point range. Duncan is working on a streak of four consecutive double-doubles. Mills scored 13 against Chicago. Leonard is averaging 14.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals since Feb. 1. "We all have to fill the shoes of Tony being out," Mills said. There's value up and down the San Antonio roster, a reason the Spurs own the league's best record. That value is also the reason Tony Parker won't be the league's most valuable. It took a bum ankle to show us what we all already knew. Follow Art Garcia on Twitter: @ArtGarcia92
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Video: Tony Parker - From Fast Break to Fashion Runway

Players do not always eat, sleep and drink basketball.  They have hobbies/interests that keep their passion occupied while they are away from the court. If you ever seen San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker on the sidelines recently, you will notice that he always looks sharp and well dressed.   Now most people would have you believe that it is the work a hired stylist that...

Tony Parker Likely To Return Earlier Than Scheduled

Gregg Popovich believes Tony Parker will return to the San Antonio Spurs' lineup before the four weeks he was expected to miss.

State of the Spurs: Fine without Parker?

It is a cruel-but-ironic twist that nobody outside of LeBron James has done more damage to Tony Parker's long-shot MVP candidacy than Parker's own teammates. The Spurs point guard out hurt. An ankle injury is expected to keep him away four weeks. "The Spurs hardly even realize he's gone" is saying too much, but they did crush the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday...

(Photo) Mills 'chills' in new Spurs medical device

Tony Parker turned 30 this season, just two days prior to the San Antonio Spurs' 86-84 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Parker drained the game-winning bucket -- a wide-open mid-range shot, created  by both pristine offensive execution and Russell Westbrook's costly defensive mishap. It was a sign of things to come. Since then, the Frenchman has produced his finest...

Spurs Tony Parker Says he Almost got Drafted by the Celtics (Video)

During last month’s All-Star Weekend, Bill Simmons, conducted another excellent interview with San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker who is currently injured with a sprained ankle. They discussed a variety of topics including the 2001 NBA Draft when Parker said he was told that the Boston Celtics were going to draft him before they opted instead to go with Joseph Forte who...

Video: Parker talks OKC, the 'boring' label, Celtics and more

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker joined Bill Simmons in an exclusive interview of the "B.S. Report". Parker talks about being underrated in the league, which he shrugs off saying it's because he plays for the San Antonio Spurs. Parker also discusses the Western Conference Finals loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden being traded. Needless to say he...

Duncan's, Parker's contracts are two of the best values in the NBA

I’m not really a salary cap guy. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at what players are getting paid, how contracts are structured or how teams avoid the luxury tax. But I do know good value when I see it. Recently, Sports Illustrated did a column on the best value contracts in the NBA. Not surprisingly, both San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan and Tony Parker made the...

That time Tony Parker was almost a Celtic

We've known for a long time that Tim Duncan was almost a member of the Boston Celtics coming out of college (Celtics had the best chance to get the first pick in the draft), but did you know that Tony Parker was also almost a member of the Celtics? That's right, over NBA All-Star Weekend, Parker revealed to Grantland's Bill Simmons (nine minute mark) that he was literally...

Spurs-Trailblazers pregame tweets

With injured guard Tony Parker sidelined for an expected four weeks, the San Antonio Spurs (48-14) haven't missed a beat in terms of winning as the Spurs have defeated their last two opponents by an average of 28.5 points per game. The Spurs will host the visiting Portland Trailblazers (28-32) who have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball this season, but did defeat...

NBA Power Rankings: Week 18

The Los Angeles Lakers may not be on this list, but they are back on everyone’s radar. For as much hype and undue attention as they got heading into the season, the narrative has run the full gambit. Is it possible to go from being completely overrated to potentially (foolishly) underrated, IF they happen to make it in? Strangely, Tony Parker’s injury could actually help the...

Tony Parker Tells Bill Simmons He Was Happy When James Harden Was Traded (Video)

The James Harden trade to the Houston Rockets stirred a mixture of feelings, but one NBA player was pretty happy when he was traded.  Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. Parker told Bill Simmons during a Grantland interview that he was pretty “happy” when Harden was traded due to Harden being a tough player [...]The post Tony Parker Tells Bill Simmons He Was Happy When James...

Spurscast #286: Whether or not the Spurs need a true point guard and what we can expect from ...

This week's episode of the podcast focuses on the San Antonio Spurs' incredible passing performance against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday and whether or not they actually need a true point guard.  My fellow Project Spurs writer, Jose Grijalva (@JRG1023) joins me to break down the system that has the team still winning without their All-Star PG. We also discuss the...

5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Blazers

The San Antonio Spurs (48-14) will look for yet another home win as they host the Portland Trail Blazers (28-32) in San Antonio. This will be the Spurs and Blazers last meeting of the season with both teams splitting the first two contests in Portland.  The last game between San Antonio and Portland saw the Blazers win 98-90 in Portland. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 21 points...

Miami Heat Wins 17th in a Row; First to Clinch Playoff Berth

In a shocking turn of events the unthinkable happened--the Miami Heat clinched a return trip to the playoffs after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 102-93 Friday night. If I could lay the sarcasm on thicker I would. The Heat are playing lights out basketball lately and look like a team that can't be beat. That could be because they have not been beat in 17 tries... As...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.