At this point in the NBA regular season, the consensus around the league is that the San Antonio Spurs are the team to beat. Even though many people of question their age and their ability to sustain this kind of momentum throughout the rest of the season, this Spurs squad has been able to quiet the critics and play some solid basketball on both ends of the floor.
Despite the fact that the San Antonio Spurs are sitting pretty at the top of the Western Conference and have the best record in the league at 49-10, they suffered a major blow recently when point guard Tony Parker went down with a calf injury in the win over the Memphis Grizzlies this past Sunday. This injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but could keep him out as much as a month.
This is the first major injury that this team has suffered all season long which is impressive to say the least considering the age of this veteran squad. Even though no other team in the Western Conference is really threatening to take the number one seed away from the San Antonio Spurs right now, they could be in trouble without their starting point guard as he is set to miss the next two to four weeks.
With the way this team is playing most people believe this won’t be much of a problem, but the competition does get much better from here on out as they are set to play teams like the Miami Heat (twice), Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trail Blazers during that span without Parker at the point.
Fortunately, the San Antonio Spurs do have a viable backup for Tony Parker who took over in the same position last season when the French import went down with a hand injury. George Hill played so well in place of Tony Parker last year that he almost threatened to take the starting role from here on out, but it coach Greg Popovich decided to stick with his veteran point guard this year.
In my opinion, this will be a good test for the San Antonio Spurs as one the main reasons they have been able to contend with the likes of the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers has been due to injuries just like this. So if they can get past this and continue to play well, the Spurs could very well be on their way to yet another NBA championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still a very dangerous team and could ultimately be on their way to pulling off the three-peat once again, but they will get some serious competition from their rivals down the stretch. The one edge that the San Antonio Spurs have always had over the Los Angeles Lakers has been at the point guard position and without Tony Parker in the backcourt this weekend in San Antonio, the Spurs might struggle against the defending champs.