If there’s one thing we learned from the Spurs 94-91 victory over the Timberwolves on Sunday, it’s that Gregg Popovich doesn’t play favorites with his stars. The Spurs may be the best team in the NBA with a 31-6 record, and Tony Parker may be averaging 17.5 points and 6.8 assists per game, but that didn’t stop Pop from benching him on Sunday for what he considered to be a lack of effort on defense.
In the fourth quarter, Parker stood to the side and watched Minnesota guard Luke Ridnour drive by him and dish the ball to Kevin Love for a dunk before Popovich yanked him from the game and gave him an earful. The Spurs guard watched the remainder of the game from the bench.
It should be noted that Parker missed Friday night’s game against Indiana because of a stomach ailment, but he assured Popovich he was good to go on Sunday. Whether the stomach issue came into play or not, ready to go is ready to go. When Parker said he could play that meant he could play without restriction. That included playing defense.
It’s been a bit of a rough first half of the season for Parker, who first went through a divorce and was now summoned to the bench for not trying. While Tony’s numbers may have suffered slightly, the Spurs have improved since the Parker-Longoria split and are playing some of their best basketball in years.
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