Apr 30, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guardTony Parker
(9) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Clippers centerDeAndre Jordan
(right) defends in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
It’s safe to say that Tony Parker disappointed many Spurs fans last season. Injuries and shaky play led Parker to arguably his worst season since his rookie year.
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The 33-year old lead guard averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 assists. Despite a drop off in his production, Parker was still efficient, as he shot 49% from the field and committed only 2.1 turnovers a game. A positive sign for Spurs fans is that he shot a career high 43% from three-point range.
The poor playoffs performance by Parker was the icing on top of the cake for his disappointing year. Parker averaged 10.9 points and 3.6 assists in the postseason. He showed no rhythm whatsoever, as he shot 36% from the field.
One might ask, “why is there still sign for hope for the aging guard?” It’s quite simple, he will be healthy for the first time in a while. Throughout the season Parker faced nagging injuries, whether it was his achilles or his ankle. Yes, Parker is a year older, but a stronger supporting cast will make things easier for him.
While the Spurs arguably downgraded in the backcourt, the Spurs still improved significantly as a team. The Spurs lost Cory Joseph and Marco Belinelli in the backcourt. Joseph’s departure shouldn’t hurt too much, as Patty Mills (shoulder) will also be healthy going into the season after missing a heavy portion early on last year. The Spurs also added 24-year old Ray McCallum, who plays similarly to Joseph.
The addition of four-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will ease the load on Parker and Tim Duncan. Aldridge is a dominant offensive player, who has averaged at least 23 points and 10 rebounds back-to-back seasons.
Parker’s statistics won’t improve much in the season, but in the playoffs he should be much sharper. After all, Parker is known to perform better in the postseason. In 203 career playoff games, Parker averages 18.6 points and 5.2 assists. Don’t expect Parker to shoot 36% from the field on the big stage again.
Spurs fans shouldn’t worry too much about Parker heading into the 2015-16 season.