Technically, the San Antonio Spurs were not even supposed to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night, so maybe the 110-91 thrashing doesn’t count, right? Wrong. The loss is all too real and the absence of Tony Parker was even more of a reality.
What was originally scheduled as a four-day break for the battered and fatigued Spurs turned into a rescheduled trip to Minnesota, and their play told the whole story. From the tip, the Spurs did not look like the efficient and overwhelmingly methodical team that they are known to be. With 10 turnovers in the first half, it was plain to see that the Spurs were not focused and just going through the motions. The Timberwolves took full advantage of the lax San Antonio defense.
Without Parker heading the show on both ends of the floor, Timberwolves like Ricky Rubio were attacking at will. Rubio finished with a game-high 23 points and added seven assists. San Antonio sent Minnesota to the free throw line 26 times and allowed 52 total rebounds.
The Spurs’ offense wasn’t much better. 3-point shooting has been one facet of the game that the team has been able to hang their hats on, but it was a different story in this game. As a team, the Spurs mustered up a miserable 23.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc and 44.4 percent from inside the arc.
It just seemed like the Spurs were missing something all night long, and that something was Parker. With home court hanging in the balance and two losses in their last three games, Gregg Popovich must put together a lineup that can sustain a successful end to the season with or without Parker.