Tony Parker to Blame the Most for the Spurs’ Struggles?
Tony Parker was a one-man wrecking crew during the Western Conference Finals’ first two games, but he has been kept under wraps ever since. And now, with the Spurs on the brink of elimination, much of the blame is falling on Parker. From ESPN: “If the San Antonio Spurs don’t look like the same powerhouse that won 20 consecutive games it’s because they don’t have the same Tony Parker who drove the streak. It’s dangerous to reduce a group — especially one as team-oriented a squad as the Spurs — to an individual, but a successful team is a group of individuals playing well. And the Spurs’ most important individual, their MVP of the regular season, isn’t getting it done. Parker is letting his teammates down, putting his coach in a bind and backing the Spurs up to the brink of elimination after the Oklahoma City Thunder won Game 5, 108-103. So now the Spurs’ 2-0 lead is gone, along with the memory of Parker’s stellar, 34-point Game 2 and the regular season that had him in the discussion for 2011-12′s top player. They’ve been replaced by a Thunder team that looks hungrier and smarter, and a version of Parker that committed five turnovers in the span of 16 minutes in Game 3, missed 10 of 15 shots in Game 4 and had as many turnovers as field goals (five) in Game 5, the swing game that projects the winner in 83.5 percent of the series that are tied 2-2. The Spurs are coming undone with turnovers. And Parker has totaled 11 over the past three games. A convenient turning point in the series was Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks’ decision to switch Thabo Sefolosha on Parker defensively. There has also been the amount of attention the Thunder’s frontline has paid to Parker when he comes off screens.”