Parker suffers ankle injury
Tony Parker's eyes were perhaps getting a little big for his stomach.
These last two years, Parker has transformed himself into one of the premier point guards in the league. Maybe the 2007 Finals MVP was that already, but now Gregg Popovich has turned the team over to him and told him to dominate the same way he does when he plays for the French national team.
Parker has done that this year, averaging 21.0 points and 7.6 assists per game. He has led the Spurs to the best record in the Western Conference and in the league. The MVP whispers have circled around Parker from luminaries such as Charles Barkley for the impact he has made on the court.
Parker even had dreams of an NBA title/Euroleague title double this year. That would certainly be a fanastic year that could measure up in some sense to the 2012 LeBron James put in.
Those dreams might very well be on hold now.
Parker sprained his ankle Friday in a blowout win over the Kings and is expected to miss the next month. The Spurs have a three game lead over the Thunder for the top spot in the West and in the league. You would expect San Antonio to hit a bit of a swoon with Parker out.
In the four games Parker has not played, the Spurs are 3-1. So San Antonio, always an adaptible team, should know how to play without him for a short time.
The team's offense should hardly suffer too. According to Basketball-Reference, the Spurs have the same effective field goal percentage with Parker on and off the court and an offensive rating only three points worse with Parker off the floor.
Where the team changes is in assists and turnovers, two things Parker is very adept at. San Antonio's assist rate decrease by 6.5 percentage points with Parker off the floor and the team's turnover rate increases by 3.2 percent from a solid 14.2 percent to a much less comfortable 17.4 percent.
Keeping track of assists and turnovers will be key for San Antonio with Parker out of the lineup. If either creeps in the wrong direction, San Antonio could be struggling without its All Star in the lineup.
LeBron's special February
James is already averaging 27.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting an astounding 56.4 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc. What is more incredible is he has a league-best 31.7 PER on a 29.9 percent usage rate.
James is high-usage, but extremely and deathly efficient.
His February was even more so. In those short 28 days, James averaged 29.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. He shot 64.1 percent from the floor and 43.2 percent from beyond the arc. He was in this uncanny zone that was just unreal for basketball fans to watch.
It was also incredibly rare feat.
James is truly entering rarerified air with his performance right now. He took a bit of a break in shooting 4 for 14 agianst Memphis on Friday in a win. But it is probably well deserved. As long as the Heat keep winning.
Report: Shabazz Muhammad coming to NBA
If you are a team like the Bobcats, Magic or Suns, attention turns toward the NCAA Tournament when the calendar turns to March. Yes, the NBA Draft is around the corner.
The parade of young players declaring for this year's draft is coming.
One name appears already set to enter. UCLA freshman swingman Shabazz Muhammad reportedly has made his decision to declare for the NBA Draft. Bruins coach Ben Howland told ESPN.com that Muhammad likely played his final game at legendary Pauley Pavilion in last night's win over Arizona.
Muhammad is widely regarded as one of the top prospects in this year's draft and is expected to be in the running to be the No. 1 pick.
Muhammad is averaging 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on 46.1 percent from the floor. Muhammad is 6-foot-6 and extremely athletic. He has had his ups and downs this year, but that is to be expected from a 19 year old.
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