San Antonio announced that its point guard Tony Parker will miss the remainder of the NBA playoffs after an MRI confirmed he had a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his left leg that will require a season-ending injury.
The 34-year-old suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 121-96 series-tying victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals.
In that game, Parker drove and launched a floater over Patrick Beverley, then had an awkward fall and clutched his left knee. He stood up after a few minutes but was unable to put pressure on the leg.
“You never want to see a player injured, especially a guy like TP, who is closing down at the end of his career,” said Houston star guard James Harden. “He’s been playing well all postseason. It’s tough. We say a prayer for him.”
Parker averaged just 10.1 points per game this regular season, which is his lowest since his rookie year. But he upped his performance in the playoffs and normed 15.9 points per game on 52.6% shooting, including a very efficient 57.9% clip on 2.4 three-point attempts per match.
“What he brings to their team, I don’t know how you replace that,” said Rockets forward Trevor Ariza. “Not saying they don’t have good enough players to step in, but what he brought to that team, I think it’s unmatched.”
Parker has never missed a playoff game, and is fifth in NBA history with 221 playoff fixtures in his belt. He is also one of only two players with 4,000 points and 1,000 assists in the post-season, along with Cleveland Cavaliers uber-star LeBron James.
Despite the big hole left by Parker on the Spurs rotation, Houston players still know how strong San Antonio is.
“You can take anybody off that roster, and they’re still a great team,” said Harden.
“You know how [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] Pop is,” added Beverley. “His team is a machine. One person falls down, next person steps up.”