TOYOTA CENTER – With starting point guard Tony Parker out for the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs after suffering a ruptured left quadriceps tendon, San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich announced Friday evening rookie Dejounte Murray will start in place of Parker for Game 3 between the Spurs and Houston Rockets.
During the regular season, Murray played in 38 games, with several starts on nights when Parker was out due to rest or injury. In the playoffs, Murray has played limited minutes in four games when the games have already been decided late in fourth quarters.
During the regular season, Murray only played with Spurs’ starters in three games for six minutes. In those six minutes, San Antonio scored 138.1 Points Per 100 Possessions and held the opponent to 109.4 PP/100, which gave the Spurs a Net Rating of +28.7.
Again, though, it’s a limited sample size.
Starting with Murray allows Spurs backup point guard Patty Mills to keep his rotation with the second unit, and as Project Spurs’ own Tom Petrini wrote recently, the expectation is Mills will get an increase in minutes at the 1.
For Murray, depending on his play is how long he’ll likely stay on the court. He’ll probably start the first and third quarters. Should he play well; taking quality shots, running the offense, limiting his turnovers, and not missing defensive assignments, he could see maybe 5-6 minutes in the quarters. Should he struggle, one could see him getting yanked 3-4 minutes into the quarter.
Manu Ginobili and Jonathon Simmons might also share some ball handling duties as well.