Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
When the San Antonio Spurs got off to a commanding 2-0 lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder everyone started to write OKC off.The Spurs were playing much more cohesive basketball and it didn’t look like anything, or anyone, could stop them.
Much of that was because of Tony Parker, who averaged 26 points and 7 assists on 61 per cent shooting in the first two games.
Fast forward to today (after the Spurs have lost three straight), and you notice an entirely different narrative.
Now OKC looks like the unstoppable force. But as good as they’re playing, there’s one major reason why momentum has shifted in this series: Tony Parker has played awful in Games 3, 4 and 5.
Parker is only averaging 16 points and 4 assists in the last three games, while shooting an abysmal 39 per cent from the floor.
He’s also turned the ball over five times each in games 3 and 5. All five of his Game 3 turnovers came during a terrible 16 minute span, a.k.a. when this series turned in OKC’s favour.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks putting Thabo Sefolosha on Parker has made a difference, but it’s not the entire reason for his poor play.
Regardless of how much attention OKC gives Parker, he’s a star player and veteran team leader who should’ve found a way to adjust his game by now.
The Spurs are falling apart and if Parker doesn’t figure things out this last hurrah will end without an NBA Finals trip.
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