Sunday's quick rehash takes a look at Tony Parker's production and accomplishments this season and runs through notes and numbers from the final home game before the Rodeo Road Trip. The Washington Generals/Bullets/Wizards came into town for what turned out to be an ugly and just brutal game.
Recently named Western Conference Player of the Week, Western Conference Player of the Month, and given the nod to attend a fifth NBA All-Star game, Tony Parker has been supplying plenty of ammunition to the fans and media claiming Tony to the best point guard in the NBA this season.
Leading all guards in field goal percentage, while also being 11th in scoring and 7th in assists, Tony is currently averaging career bests in points per game, 3 point percentage, free throw percentage, and personal fouls. Parker may also be able to add to the list by setting new high marks in assists (currently 7.5) and field goal percentage (currently 52.2%) before the season's end. And though these may be the "dog days" of the season, Tony Parker is still cranking up the production.
The continuing story of injuries throughout the Spurs roster, most notably Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, has put Parker in complete control of the Silver & Black ship. Since the Spurs last loss at Memphis on 1/11, Tony has been averaging 22.8 points on 61.6 FG%, 9.1 assists, only 0.4 fouls, and 3.4 turnovers per game - an excellent cap to Tony's best month of the season. According to the folks running the Spurs statistics, Parker is currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 20 points and 7 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line.
Final note on Parker -- On Saturday morning, I visited the Spurs practice facility for a sit-down interview with Patty Mills. Prior to that, I stood in the tiny media circle (maybe 6 of us) for a Parker interview and I could still see the stitches and markings around his left eye from the Dallas Mavericks game. In several other shoot-around workouts, I have noticed various coloring on Parker's shins and calves - blue, red, purple, black, etc. Last night, Tony's legs were accidentally swept out from underneath of him by John Wall. Parker hit the ground hard and took a bit to get back up.
Point is, Tony gets plenty of love for this speed, craftiness, and scoring acumen but is rarely ever credited for his toughness and tenacity. I say this not only for his physical and athletic toughness but for the mental aspect of it as well. And when I look at the tough NBA christening courtesy of Coach Popovich and all the hurdles from then to now, I believe most 19 year-old "floor generals" would have quickly flamed out.
Shoot Around Notes
John Wall works with Sam Cassell in his pregame workouts. The workouts are very long but light. Coach Cassell was focusing on Wall's shooting mechanics.
Gary Neal, Tony Parker, and Sam Cassell were goofing off at mid-court.
Wizards shoot-around is pretty light, with no real structure.
Doesn't appear anyone for the Wizards is capable of hitting back-to-back 3-point shots. (25th in league in 3-point percentage).
Patty Mills spent most of his workout shooting from deep, including some fastbreak catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.
Kawhi Leonard is determined to kill himself in these workouts. Dude looked spent.
Nene had to wait to do his pregame workout. Wizards assistant coach Don Newman (formally of the Spurs) was busy meeting old faces and running a few plays with Tim Duncan.
When Duncan started his pregame workout, Chris Singleton and another player both stopped theirs to watch Number 21. They were smiling like kids.
Sean Marks blocked a Tony Parker jumper. Just because.
My Game Boss
After the Wizards cut down a massive Spurs lead to only 6 with roughly 8 minutes to go in the game, Tony Parker took control and re-energized the offense by dishing 3 assists and scoring 3 points himself to push it back to a 13 point lead by the 3:40 mark.
Parker also recorded his 13th double-double of the season.
My Game Runt
SPURS IN 3RD QUARTER
Yes, the Wizards had a statistically worse 2nd quarter but the Spurs defense fell to pieces, letting a young and terrible Washington team get back within striking range. Boo-urns.
This Thing Was Over When...
...Tony Parker came back into the game at roughly the 9 minute mark of the 4th quarter. Parker has to be getting tired of saving the team's butt after mental collapses against inferior teams.
By the Numbers
9 - Second quarter points for the Wizards, new season opponent low for San Antonio.
1 - Point differential between the Spurs first quarter (27) and the Wizards first half (26).
38 - Points in the paint for Washington. They only had 12 in the first half.
15 - Points the Wizards outscored the Spurs in the second half (60-45).
87.2 - Percentage of regular season home games the Spurs have won since 2/1/2012. (41-6)
25 - Days until the Spurs play another game in the AT&T Center.
No one else is really talking about it but Coach Popovich and a Wizards' player were barking at each other in the 4th quarter. I think the player stuck his nose in on Pop's complaints to the officials about what was supposed to be a shooting foul.
When everyone realized what was going, that was about as quiet I have ever heard the AT&T Center.
Players after the game seemed in good spirits about Duncan so hopefully that means something good medically.
Patty Mills gets lost way too easily on crossovers.
I don't remember Gary Neal being this frustrating to watch during his rookie season.
I like Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. He jumps on his players pretty quickly. Not as fast as Pop but still fast.
Not sure if anyone noticed that Kawhi Leonard was the only player to rebound in double-digits. (11, a career high).
Bird is the Word
@WayneTBF: This is interesting, since the #LetBonnerShoot campaign started, Bonner has gone into playoff mode. Coincidence? I think not.
@danmccarneysaen: No Trevor Booker? Screw it. I'm going home...
@JMcDonald_SAEN: The Spurs' pick and roll defense is apparently back in the locker room with Tim Duncan.
Going into the Next Game, the Spurs Need to...
...stay healthy. The Spurs will be without the services of Tim Duncan for likely 2-3 weeks, assuming both injuries are just sprains. Manu Ginobili is dealing with a hamstring issue and unfortunately the long muscle injures are something that linger for quite awhile. If the Spurs want a Ginobili for the playoffs, he'll need to get more days off and strict minute cap. Only two Spurs haven't missed any game time due to injuries this season and the strength and durability of the bench is about to face yet another test. The schedule after the Rodeo Road Trip is extremely friendly to stamina and health recovery of players, so all the good guys need to is get through the next month intact.
For more rambling and Spurs talk, follow Aaron Preine at @DukeOfBexar on Twitter.
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