Parker being healthy should scare Spurs
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — There were no shortage of scary scenes for the San Antonio Spurs in their Game 4 Finals loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday that evened the series 2-2.
Dwyane Wade forgetting that his ailing knees were supposed to prohibit him from looking like his younger self. LeBron James doing everything he hadn’t in the first three games, banging his way into a new-found rhythm early and finding his missing midrange game as a result. Chris Bosh becoming a force again, in part because of the lineup change (Mike Miller in, Udonis Haslem out) that gave him more responsibility and opportunity. And, of course, there was the return of the turnovers — 19 that led to 23 Heat points and helped the defending champions rediscover their lost run-and-gun identity.
But of all the frightening aspects of the Heat’s second overwhelming win in the series, this revelation from point guard Tony Parker afterward should concern the Spurs more than anything as they plot a counter of their own for Game 5 on Sunday: He felt healthy in the second half. If ever there was a time when the Spurs needed a silver lining, this was it.
But after a 15-point, six-assist first half in which Parker looked as if the mild hamstring strain he suffered in Game 3 was nothing but a ruse, he went scoreless in the second half as the Heat outscored the Spurs 60-44. Most had assumed something was wrong with Parker’s ailing right wheel, but he swore that wasn’t the case.
“It was just fatigue,” said Parker, who shot 0-for-4 in the second half and 7-for-16 overall. “I just missed shots. I had great shots. I missed two tear drops and the lay-up I was right there, couldn’t get my lift. They are doing the same thing on me since the beginning. Very aggressive on pick-and-rolls, stuff like that. I just missed easy shots, and hopefully I’ll get more healthy, and I’ll be better by Sunday.”
This matters because James and the Heat suddenly look special again, and Parker’s first half was magnificent enough that it seemed he was … [For more on Why Tony Parker being healthy should scare Spurs, click here.]