Now they will have to do without Tony Parker, their most indispensable player.
The Spurs announced Saturday that Parker had an MRI that revealed a Grade 2 sprain of his left ankle that will sideline him for four weeks.
Parker was hurt in the third quarter of Friday’s 130-102 home rout of Sacramento. He is averaging a career-high 21.0 points (10th in the NBA) and 7.6 assists (sixth) while shooting 53.3 percent fron the field (first among guards).
Parker has started to receive MVP consideration. Prior to the All-Star break, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich – whose gushing comes extremely grudgingly – said his point guard “should be in every conversation for any award that’s going to be given.”
Popovich continued his campaign last week, saying, “Name me a point guard who’s had a better season? I can’t think of one.”
The Spurs are 46-14, two games in front of Miami for the NBA’s best record and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. San Antonio also is trying to hold off Oklahoma City (42-16) and the Los Angeles Clippers (43-18) in the Western Conference.
Over the last three seasons, the Spurs are 150-44 when Parker plays and just 7-7 when he doesn’t.
However, if told their star point guard was going to miss a month, the Spurs probably would have picked March. They have 13 games remaining in the month and 11 are at home.
Parker’s backups are rookie Nando de Colo and Patty Mills. Ginobili also runs the offense on occasion.