Tony Parker: Room For One More?


A few days ago I did a piece on Deron Williams in which I broke down his game and compared him to the other elite point guards in the league. Within a couple of hours of this post being completed and going up on the site, a number of people had gotten in contact with me to ask why Tony Parker had mysteriously been left off of the list. Firstly, I thank those people for taking the time to read my work and get back to me, I really appreciate it. Secondly, I just plain forgot. As bad as an excuse as it is, I genuinely accidentally overlooked him, and that’s all there is too it. What’s most ironic about this is the fact that I believe Parker has just come off his most complete season ever in the NBA. So with man running the point for the Spurs now in the mix, it is worth revisiting that list.

To begin, I still believe Chris Paul and a healthy Derrick Rose are better point guards than Parker for the reasons I stated before. They influence their teams on a greater scale, and have a fantastic blend of offensive and defensive maneuverers at their disposal. They bring that balanced play on a nightly basis. Not that Parker doesn’t, he is a fantastic player, and in actual fact is probably the Spurs most important player now too. Tim Duncan is 36, and is beginning to wind down. The Spurs have also used Duncan wisely over the last two years and cut his minutes so as to keep him fresh for the playoffs. So Parker has taken over that leader’s role during the regular season, and he certainly showed it this season. A serious contender for the regular season MVP, the 30 year old eleven year veteran averaged 20 points a game and 6 assists during the postseason too. When you consider that Manu Ginobili shoulders a lot of the scoring burden, as well as Stephen Jackson, not to mention plays being called for Duncan and others like Boris Diaw and Kwahi Leonard quite often, this makes these figures all the more impressive. Both Paul and Rose are younger as well, and have more time to get even better, although Parker is hardly over the hill himself yet.

A Parker versus Rajon Rondo matchup for the number three spots shapes up nicely at this point. On one side you have the flash of Rondo, that ability to scythe through a defence with one pass. Not the greatest shooter out there, but with an unrivalled gift for visioning passing lanes before they have even appeared yet. He makes those around him better, and really what more can you ask of your point guard? He is also gritty as well, who can forget that nasty elbow injury he sustained against Miami in the 2010 playoffs when his arm practically bent in the opposite direction, and then to come back and play, that same game. Huge confidence-boost to his team mates. The other side sees the industrious Parker, not the most extravagant passer of the ball, but you better believe he’ll get the ball where it needs to be. He’s also a far better shooter than Rondo will probably ever be, making him more than just a capable distributor. Spurs coach Greg Popovich expects hard play from all of his players, be they stars or not, and so we can say Parker has that tough streak in him as well. Parker has also won more titles than Rondo, but both have that big game mentality, always raising their game when the stakes are highest.

For me personally I’m going with Rondo at the three spot and Parker at four, followed by Russell Westbrook at number five. Rondo just adds that excitement factor and his vision brings every player into the game to make big plays. Westbrook will also probably jump up this list as time goes by, his potential really knows no bounds. Deron Williams probably does slot in at number six, although Steve Nash and Kyrie Irving will push him hard this coming season.

I may have forgotten Parker, but now that he is back in the fold you can have your say, where do you think Tony Parker fits in this list? Leave your comments below and maybe over the course of the next year the play of Parker will make sure that we never forget about him again.


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About nbaeire
Just a young guy trying to make the NBA relevant in Ireland. Any fans from Ireland or beyond, feel free to comment or submit articles to the page.

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