The closer in my opinion is the player who is the primary playmaker for the last 5 minutes of a close game. The closer is not the player who everybody knows that he is going to take the last shot even if he is being defended my 3 player 30 feet away for the basket.
Parker is having the best year of his career. His decision making has been great the entire season, that’s the main reason he’s averaging a career high in assist even with Manu out. He’s been a killer in the 4th quarter, scoring and making plays for others. But there’s a problem with TP, he tends to be less aggressive when Manu is on the game. The Denver game is a great example of that. Parker could’ve had 30+ points in that game. He was 10-11 on his final 11 shots, but instead of going for the kill in the 4th quarter, he chose to be the 2nd option behind Manu for the last 5 minutes of that game, probably costing us a victory. When Parker chose to be aggressive again it was too late.
Parker is Anti-Westbrook in my opinion. While Westbrook wants to be the man in OKC, Parker wants Manu to be the go to player. And that’s great because Manu still the team’s best player. But this year Parker has to be the closer, this is his team.
With TP as the primary playmaker at the end of the game and Manu playing off the ball the Spurs are way more dangerous. Manu would open up the floor more for TP. Parker can’t do the same for Manu, because he’s not a good 3 point shooter.
Parker as the closer will always get a good shot, for himself or for a teammate: the mid range jumper is always available, he could drive to the basket or he could make a play by passing the ball.
Parker is having a special year. I think it started this summer when he helped France to Qualify to the 2012 Olympics. He should be top 3 in the MVP race and he even won the Skills challenge. And Right now, the Spurs are his team. The Spurs are going to go as far as Tony takes them.