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No Tony, No Cry

By Daniel Strickland on March 1, 2011.

By now you’ve likely heard the news, “Spurs’ Parker out 2-4 weeks with calf injury.” (Btw, the comments on Yahoo! Sports are predictably funny, blaming the injury on Tony’s sexual escapes.)

Before you get hysterical, or think that our championship hopes have been shattered, I’m here to tell you that Tony’s injury and the timing might actually be a good thing.

Tony Parker is helped up by Spurs' Tim Duncan after suffering a left calf injury. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

To quote Bramlet Amercrombie, who has been noticeably absent here the last three years, “‘Member how this happened last year?  ‘Member how it helped ignite the Spurs’ stretch run leading into the playoffs?  I think we’ll be ok.”

In fact, I think the Spurs will be better than okay.

Last season, Tony missed 16 games from March 8 to April 4 after breaking his right hand against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Spurs were 11-5 without Parker in the lineup, which is still pretty damn good (.688). That record would be good enough for third in the West this season, tied with the Lakers.

More importantly, Manu elevated his game during the stretch, averaging just under 24 points a game. Ginobili scored 30+ in five games, including a season-high 43 against the Magic, reminding the league why he’s one of the best players in the game.

Beside more points from Manu, we should also see more minutes from George Hill, and maybe, just maybe, from Chris Quinn. We could see Gary Neal step up, too, since he’s shown recently that he’s a lot more than just a “spot up 3-point shooter.”

One thing we’ve learned about this team this year is that they’ve got lots of weapons, any one of which can go off on a given night. We’ll be without one of our biggest weapons, but only for a few weeks.

I’ll be curious to see how the Parker-less Spurs play against the Heat this Friday and the Lakers this Sunday. If the Spurs win, we’ll be jubilant. If they lose, we can shrug it off, knowing that it most certainly would have been different with Tony.

All that matters is that Tony is healthy come April. Also, it will be nice if the Spurs can hold on to the #1 seed.

I bet they will.

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