San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich shuffled his starting lineup after losing two of their last three games. According to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, Popovich replaced Tony Parker as starting point guard with Dejounte Murray before their clash with the Indiana Pacers Sunday. Parker told Orsborn that Popovich informed him of the move, which he accepted wholeheartedly. “Just like Manu (Ginobili), just like Pau (Gasol), you know that day is going to come,” said the 35-year-old Parker, adding that he will accept any move that is good for the team and support Popovich’s decision.

Parker said he would also help mentor Murray in his new role and help anchor the second unit with fellow reserve playmakers Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili. In his previous 1,164 career games, Parker only played off the bench 21 times. The Spurs took Parker 28th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. Spurs shooting guard Danny Green said they were notified by Popovich before the game that Murray will start against the Pacers. According to Green, the coaching staff made the move to give the team different paces in the game with Murray spearheading their run-and-gun play while Parker was taking over the slow pace of play.

Parker averaging career-lows this season

In 21 games this season, Parker averaged career-lows 8.0 points and 4.0 assists for the Spurs since he returned to the line-up after recovering from a quad injury.

Murray, for his part, is averaging 6.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists this year in 17.9 minutes of action per outing. Last season, Murray started in 14 of 47 regular-season games, where he averaged 6.3 points. In the playoffs, Murray started two games, averaging 5.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Mills is averaging 9.7 points, 2.0 boards and 2.8 assists per game while the 40-year-old Ginobili is averaging 9.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season.

The move came days after the Spurs announced that star forward Kawhi Leonard will be out indefinitely due to a quad injury.

Spurs lost to Pacers

The Spurs dropped to 30-18 after losing to the Pacers, 94-86, Sunday. Victor Oladipo scored 19 points, Darren Collison added 15, Thaddeus Young had 14, and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 10 for the Pacers, who improved to 25-22. Pau Gasol led the Spurs with 14 points, Parker and Bryn Forbes contributed 12 points each while LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyle Anderson had ten apiece for the Spurs.