Tony Parker: A Man on a Mission
Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Throughout the year, Tony Parker has been that car in the right lane, just going the speed limit on cruise control.
I think his huge Game 7 was a statement that he’s finally ready to switch to the left lane and powerhouse all the way to his destination, which he hopes is the to the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Parker led the Spurs with 24 points (9-12 shooting), two rebounds and two assists in just the first half. He finished the game with 32 points (11-19 shooting), four rebounds, and four assists in 34 minutes. It finally felt like the Spurs were playing the way we were all waiting for.
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Parker was getting to the rim at will and creating enough space to get most of his jumpers to sink in. He even let former teammate Dejuan Blair know that it was getting too easy for him to score. His aggressiveness with taking the ball to the hole ended with him getting to the free throw line 13 times, which tied his season high.
His penetration and kick outs really helped the Spurs move the ball around, and get those extra passes in, which allowed open three pointers for the Spurs. He struggled the first few minutes in the second half, which every second half starter for the Spurs did, but then began to push and continue being aggressive.
Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs desperately need Tony Parker to lead the charge throughout the playoffs, and with a tough offensive matchup against Damian Lillard in the second round, he will need to be on his best game. After watching what the Portland Trail Blazers were able to do against the Houston Rockets, this will definitely be a tough matchup for the Spurs. Parker has truly struggled against Portland, only averaging 12.7 points on 35.6 percent shooting and this is all while playing an average of 32.7 minutes.
A big reason why the Spurs were able to make the deep run last year in the playoffs was because Parker averaged 20.6 points and seven assists throughout the playoffs. While the load might be a little lighter this year with a better bench, and a better Manu Ginobili, Parker is still the one who the Spurs need to depend on.
*** All Stats Courtesy of ESPN.com***