Popovich: Spurs’ hopes hinge on Parker

Gregg Popovich knows the Spurs can't win it all if Tony Parker isn't playing at an All-Star level.

Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images

According to San Antonio Express-News reporter Jeff McDonald, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows his team can’t repeat as world champions if Tony Parker isn’t 100% healthy and playing like the dominant virtuoso he’s been throughout his entire career. 

“His aggressiveness is a huge key for us, because of his ability to penetrate and get to the rim, and he hasn’t done that like he has in the past,” Popovich said. “It’s because of a lack of confidence in that leg and a lack of conditioning, a combination of those two things.”

Giving the Spurs cause for optimism, Parker put together a pair of productive outings just before the All-Star break. In victories at Detroit and Indiana, he averaged 18 points and six assists while making a combined 13 of 27 shots.

Is 29 games enough time for Parker to turn his season around?

“I don’t know, but he’s serious about it and that’s good,” Popovich said.”He’s the main part of our game as far as pace and scoring. He makes a lot happen when he’s getting 18, 20, 26 points.

Parker has battled a partially torn hamstring for most of the season, and his play has suffered. He’s posting career-low numbers across the board, not getting into the paint or the free-throw line as often as normal. And Popovich, being one of the smartest people in the NBA, realizes it’s a major problem. 

(h/t: San Antonio Express-News)