The San Antonio Spurs have struggled mightily in recent weeks, and their performance has been severely hampered by the number of injuries the team has suffered since the start of the New Year.
Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili are still sidelined for a few weeks, but the return of Danny Green and Tiago Splitter will certainly help the team to rediscover their form. Losing Tony Parker today against the Washington Wizards wasn’t what Gregg Popovich had in mind, but the role players stepped their game up as the Spurs defeated the Wizards 125-118 after two thrilling OT periods.
It’s no secret that the Spurs should’ve closed the game earlier, as they had a seven-point lead with two minutes left in the first overtime, but they let it slip away with sloppy decisions on crunch time. Fortunately for San Antonio, the role players stepped it up on Parker’s absence to give the team a huge win that should do wonders for the team’s confidence.
The French point guard exited the game with a lower-back injury, so the likes of Nando De Colo and Cory Joseph assumed the playmaking duties, but the team’s MVP at the Verizon Center ended up being Patty Mills. The Australian guard has taken a bigger role on the offense in recent weeks and he carried the Spurs against Washington, finishing with 23 points and four assists in almost 21 minutes.
The emergence of Danny Green – who netted five three-pointers to finish with 22 points – and a vintage performance from Tim Duncan – 31 points and 11 rebounds before being fouled out – certainly helped the team’s cause and the Spurs certainly sent a signal to the rest of the NBA with the win against the Wizards. They are slowly becoming the team they were at the start of the season and they are getting ready to step their game up when they need it the most.
That’s a scary thought for the whole league, especially the Western Conference.