We don’t mean to start off a story with an expletive, but it has to be said- what the (expletive) is wrong with PG Tony Parker? The San Antonio Spurs aren’t looking like their regular selves this year, and while part of that is the obvious attrition that hundreds of combined games plays on the aging knees of the Big Three, a great deal of that considerable fall-off has to do with the incredibly shrinking game of Tony Parker.
Right now the San Antonio Spurs are 2-5 on their infamous Rodeo Road Trip, which has acted as a tipping point for their deep playoff runs in years past, and these losses can be firmly placed on the play of Parker.
After starting off the season in signature form, the former Mr. Longoria averaged 11 points and 4 assists while shooting a dismal 40 percent from the field in the month of January. But if that wasn't enough, his 61 percent three-point shooting clip from November has since plummeted to 31 percent.
While Parker has never been the more staunch defender you've ever seen, his perpetual motion, speed and ability to attack the basket usually evened out the stat lines when other top-tier point guards came to town. But lately his ineptitude on defense is becoming all the more apparent because of his offensive deficiencies.
After scoring 21 points and dishing out 12 assists against Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers, Parker has turned in games of 2 points, 5 points and 2 points in the Spurs last three games versus the Golden State Warriors, the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trailblazers, respectively. Additionally, if the season were to end today, his 13.8 points per game average would be his lowest scoring average since his rookie season. Whenever a perennial All-Star sees his numbers fall to near career lows it’s only a matter of time before that individual is put out to pasture.
Tony Parker did miss 12 games back in December due to injuries to his hamstring and ribs. While there has been no word from Coach Gregg Popovich or the San Antonio brass about him possibly aggravating those ailments, he did say that Parker was suffering through a bunch of smaller injuries that he did not elaborate on.
If his game is being affected by injury it would certainly be a relief to the San Antonio faithful because this version of T.P. stinks.
"I saw him struggling the last week before the break, aching and limping," SG Manu Ginobili told ESPN.com. "...we're not going far without him."
Currently lodging as the 7th seed in the Western Conference, the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs continue to try and shake, rattle and roll their rickety, raggedy remains toward a respectable playoff seed, and teams around the league are keeping a close eye on the health of one Tony Parker because, as he goes, so go the Spurs, and you better believe the 2nd-seeded Memphis Grizzlies are salivating at the chance to finally dethrone them.