The Ih-10 rivalry is back for the second round of this year’s NBA playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets are in a Texas showdown. These guys haven’t played each other in the playoffs since 1995. They are currently 1-1 and will be traveling to H-town for the next two games. Time for a recap! Game 1 was just so embarrassing… I don’t even want to talk about, but here we go!
One word to describe this one? Blowout. Houston had their game together from the very start of the first quarter, and they never lost it. They were shooting threes like it was nothing. The Spurs had no problem beating the Rockets during the regular season. It looked like the Spurs took the game too lightly and just weren’t prepared.
By halftime, the Rockets were up by 30 points! This was the Spurs’ largest halftime deficit under Coach Pop. Rockets’ Nene was thrown out at the end of the third quarter for grabbing Dewayne Dedmon’s throat after he and Harden were in each other’s face. Apparently, Dedmon started badmouthing the Rockets, and Harden decided to stand up for his teammates. During the fourth quarter, Dedmon was thrown out after arguing with officials during a free throw.
Houston even made a franchise postseason record with 22 three-pointers. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were the only Spurs players to score in double digits, while Houston had six players in double figures. This was the first time LaMarcus Aldridge scored under double digits in the postseason with the Spurs. The Rockets led by as many as 39 points in the win.
The Rockets put a 126-99 beating on the Spurs on their own court. This was the Spurs’ worst home playoff loss in franchise history.
Luckily, Tim Duncan came to the rescue. After the embarrassing loss, Duncan showed up the next day at the Spurs’ practice. He even suited up and challenged Pau Gasol to play some one-on-one. Duncan was even seen talking one-on-one with Aldridge. Maybe giving him some tips? Danny Green said Duncan is in great shape and thinks the Spurs should sign him for a “Romo deal” if they make it to Finals. Coach Pop has said that Duncan’s presence makes everyone feel comfortable. Maybe it was his presence that helped the Spurs get their rhythm back.
Coach Pop decided to start Pau Gasol over David Lee, which actually worked to our advantage. Gasol’s long arms are much better at defending the rim. Coach Pop also had Leonard locking down on James Harden. That’s probably why it was one of Harden’s worst games of the season. When Leonard wasn’t on Harden, he was covering their other big players. Plus, Leonard went the entire game with no fouls!
We all know Leonard is one of the best players in the league because of how he performs on both sides of the court. On top of guarding Harden, he also scored 34 points and added 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals throughout the game. Some people are wondering how much longer he’ll be able to maintain that heavy workload.
Parker became the ninth player in NBA postseason history to reach 4,000 career points. He and LeBron James are now the only NBA players to have scored 4,000 points and dished 1,000 assists in the postseason. Unfortunately, Parker injured his left leg after driving a floater with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Two of his teammates, Dejounte Murray and Dewayne Dedmon, had to carry him off the court.
What happened to Tony?
One of Coach Pop’s main priorities during the end of the regular season was to make sure Tony Parker would be healthy and back in the rhythm for playoffs. That sure took a turn. Tony Parker is officially out for the rest of the playoffs. He’s never missed a playoff game in his 16 seasons with the Spurs. With Parker sidelined, the entire serious could change.
Ginobili saw Parker in the locker room and said he couldn’t even put weight on his leg and was struggling to walk. The Spurs announced that Parker underwent an MRI today and discovered he had a quad contusion. He will most likely need surgery.
Parker already suffered enough during the regular season. He sat out 16 games and suffered from right knee soreness, a left quadriceps bruise, a left knee bruise, left foot pain, and back stiffness. So who is going to be replacing him this time? Our guess is Patty Mills.
Mills averaged just 4 minutes less than Parker. He has also been shooting better than Parker all season. Maybe this could be a blessing in disguise – if Mills can really step it up. Luckily, he’s been playing with the Spurs for a while now and should be used to their ballgame.
Leonard already carries the team on his back, but now his role is about to get even bigger. We’re expecting Leonard to be even more responsible with his ball-handling. He even said he could “definitely” see himself in a point-forward role with Parker out.
Coach Pop said, “If we don’t have him, it’s going to be a lot tougher to hang with teams like Houston and Golden State, the Clippers, that kind of thing.”
No Tim Duncan.
No Tony Parker.
What’s next? No Manu Ginobili? Let’s hope not.
Game 3 will be in Houston tomorrow night. These next couple of games are pivotal. Get your tickets, and don’t miss out!