The San Antonio Spurs are about to find out just what it takes to replace an MVP candidate. With Tony Parker out for at least a month with a Grade 2 ankle sprain, the Western Conference leaders must turn to a trio a young point guards to try and fill Parker’s shoes until he can return. As mentioned earlier here at Rant Sports, this might be a blessing in disguise for the Spurs, who typically lean too hard on their older stars, especially Parker. Of the young players who could rise to the occasion is fellow french point guard Nando De Colo, who is primed to have a breakout performance in his first start against the Detroit Pistons.
De Colo has only scored in double digits and/or recorded more than five assists four times this season and has only played more than 20 minutes on seven occasions. A 25-year-old rookie, De Colo seems to fit the Spurs’ disciplined, fundamentally-sound system perfectly despite those who don’t think he has as much raw talent of fellow backup point guard Patty Mills.
They say numbers don’t lie and the stats above for De Colo trump those of Mills this season, especially in the assists department and that’s the key. The Spurs have plenty of players besides Parker who can score, including the other two members of their Big Three–Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili–as well as youngsters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Gary Neal is also a dynamite scorer, but he’s likely to miss as much if not more time than Parker due to injury.
Although Mills will likely get plenty of playing time, at least against Detroit, De Colo is the one in the best position to break out. He’s unknown at this point, but he could turn into dynamite trade bait over the next month, much like George Hill did after the 2010 NBA season. Of course, the Spurs may choose to keep De Colo, but that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. Again, he could break out against the Pistons, but that also could just be wishful thinking by a lifelong Spurs fan. Either way, all of Spurs Nation should have their eyes glued to the game against the Pistons to see just which young player will sep up in Parker’s absence.