The case for/against Tony Parker

I love me a PG that's constantly looking to get his teammates open/makeable looks

Let’s face it. This just isn’t Tony Parker. Whether he’s beating his man off the dribble and shooting a twisting layup while ignoring our bigs on the blocks who are open b/c their men have left to help defend Tony’s drive; or whether it’s a fast break that he’s leading where he just decides to take it himself; or whether he’s shooting a long two pointer early in the shot clock when we’ve got plenty of time and/or other guys who have better shooting percentages from outside who are waiting and ready for a pass – he’s shown a persistent and strong tendency to prefer a shot by himself to one by his teammates regardless of the relative makeability of the shots.

I understand that he’s got a terrific field goal percentage, especially considering his size and being a guard, but that’s not the whole story. And I’m not griping about games like his double nickel. There are times when a player is hot and it doesn’t matter who’s guarding him, or how many teammates are open, he’s taking the shot because he’s got the hot hand and simply can’t miss. This is not what I’m talking about.

The issue is that his mentality isn’t that of a point guard. He will have a random game when he’ll go for double digits in assists and make me wonder why he doesn’t play like that all the time – because it’s obvious that he can. And then he’ll turn right around with a performance like he had against the Rockets (and I know that everybody played badly on Saturday, please don’t get distracted) making me wonder if he even knows what a point’s main responsibilities are.

Finally, this isn’t a run-Parker-out-of-town rant. It’s just a reminder that he is and what he isn’t. He isn’t a playmaker first.

So, what IS he?

He is great GREAT at what he does. It's just that what he does isn't what a classic point guard does. He's a excellent driver, with an improving jump shot who can also, on occasion, hand out quite a few assists. But that's not the consistent part of his game.

Here's another thing we have in Parker; he's a Spur. I don't simply mean that he's on our team, knows our system and likes it in San Antonio. I also mean that, for the most part, he's bought into Pop's program and is the kind of player that program requires. He makes an effort on defense and doesn't have such sticky hands that he won't make the extra pass that our offense requires to be effective. But the extent to which he doesn't conform to the Popovich way, THAT'S the extent to which I'm down on him. When he's ignornig the open man and killing our offensive flow with ill-advised drives and jacking up crazy shots early in the shot clock - that's when I want my fairy godmother to show up, wave her wand, and turn him into Chris Paul, or Deron Williams or ...

Here's the deal: I am not arguing for a Parker trade -- unless we could get a quality player for him. Quality, in this discussion, is not a nice draft pick. It's not a player who'd give us a good year. That's not enough! Look at what we'd be giving up! A top tier point guard who's (finally) proven himself in the pressure cooker of The Finals, a player who can go off at any time and take over a game with his scoring, a close to league-verage defender, and most importantly, a player we'll have on our roster for years unless something untoward happens.

So it's only a quality player that should even be considered. And since I didn't know of such a quality big who was playing for a team who a) might let him go and b) needed a PG, I posted my previous tongue-half-in-cheek FanPost to see what you guys thought.

Allright now, do you still think that I'm down on Tony?

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