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NBA playoffs: Tony Parker injury ends Western drama

In the second half of their blowout win over the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs watched any realisitic hopes of winning the NBA Finals disappear. Veteran point guard Tony Parker drove the lane and took wing on a tear-drop shot, only to come down lame with his left leg dangling limb behind him.

The result was Parker needing to be carried off the court to the ovation from loving fans at the AT&T Center. The final score read Spurs 121, Rockets 96, but San Antonio might as well have lost 100-0.


With the series tied at 1-1 and headed to the Toyota Center for the next two games, it already feels like we have reached the climax. For the entire season, everyone who watches the NBA has been waiting for the Spurs and Golden State Warriors to meet up in the conference finals, and see who came out on top to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. Instead, it appears the Spurs are going down before they even get that chance. Even if Gregg Popovich’s group somehow pulls out the win, going against Golden State without Parker is a moot point.

After the win, Popovich spoke to the media in his presser and called Parker’s knee injury “not good.” While it is always foolish to assume, the language used by the future Hall of Fame head coach, coupled with the video above tells us that something likely significant is at work.

While the injury could be brutal for Parker, it’s equally as crushing for a Spurs team that had a real chance to win it all …. again. Parker has already secured four NBA titles, while Popovich searches for his sixth. LaMarcus Aldridge has never been part of a title run, while Kawhi Leonard looks for a second ring. Pau Gasol is chancing down his third.

Unfortunately, this takes away much of the drama and angst we were all looking forward to. The Warriors have always been the favorite to get back into the Finals for the third straight year, and now overwhelmingly so. If the Cavaliers meet them there — and they will, barring a complete miracle — it will be the first time since the 1960s that teams have squared off in the NBA Finals for three straight seasons.

Hopefully Parker is somehow able to come back in the playoffs and make his presence known down the line. If not, it will be the Leonard and Gasol show all the way to the bitter end, which now seems more inevitable than ever before.

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