The San Antonio Spurs won a franchise record 67 games and made their 19th trip into the postseason. During their historic season, point guard Tony Parker did not have his best.
Completing his 15th season in the NBA, all of which have been with the Spurs, Parker is coming off of a season where he saw his scoring average drop amongst other areas of his game. In 2014-2015 Parker averaged 14.4 points per game. This season he saw his average drop to 11.9. This season was one of which he was not concentrating more on the scoring end but being more of a facilitator.
Could the reason be that teams are starting to realize what made Parker so dominant through his many years in the league? His penetrating and scoring in the paint was incredible. With his 6-foot-1 frame, Parker showed his relentless ways of corkscrewing his body like no other to make impossible shots amongst the bigs in the league.
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Though he would eventually pay the price, that is what makes Parker. This season, Parker in some games was not as aggressive as he was in years past. During the postseason, especially in the Western Conference Semis, the Oklahoma City Thunder took Parker out of his game. When Parker would penetrate into the lane, there were Thunder bigs waiting and pressuring Parker to make a pass or force a turnover. When Parker sees his penetration limited, what would also be a threat was his midrange jumper. This season, that was not as potent either.
Is Parker’s game on the brink of fading? If a team can take away Parker’s main goal of penetrating and getting into the lane and turn him into a jump shooter at this stage of his career, that is a win. You are taking away the head of a snake. Now I know this season he did not have to be aggressive on the offensive end because of the burst from Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. As it was shown, even those two can’t carry the team, someone else needed to step up. With the decline of Tim Duncan and Danny Green’s slump on the offensive side of the ball, Parker should have been that player to step up.
There were games when the flashes of the old Parker was there, but no consistency throughout is what killed the team’s chances of their sixth title, at least for this year.
With the offseason now in full swing for the Spurs, hearing rumors of them looking to pursue Mike Conley makes for an interesting option for San Antonio. With Parker turning 34 on Tuesday and Conley, 28, could you see this happening for San Antonio? If so, whom would you see as being the starter? Conley is coming off of a season where he averaged 17.5 points per game (56 games). Though suffering from an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the regular season, including the playoffs, he still is a threat on both sides of the ball.
What do you say Spurs fans? Let’s see what you have to say about Parker’s career and Conley.