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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 1:10 pm  |  42 responses

Gregg Popovich Says Tony Parker is the NBA’s Best Point Guard This Season


With apologies to Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and all the other great point guards in the NBA today (sorry, Mario Chalmers, but you don’t count), San Antonio Spurs head coach places Tony Parker atop the list. According to Pop, no one has had a better season at that position so far than Parker. Per the Express-News: “I think he’s played probably better than any point guard in the league if you want to be totally frank about the whole deal,’ Popovich said. ‘It’s hard to pick somebody who’s had a better year than he’s had at that position, leading his team to this point in the season.’ Chris Paul — and scores of others — would certainly dispute that opinion. Recently voted to start in his sixth All-Star Game, he’s averaging 16.6 points, 9.7 assists and a league-high 2.6 steals with his typical efficiency as the Clippers are on pace to crush the franchise record for victories in a season. Parker (20.1 ppg, 7.5 apg, 0.9 spg) isn’t the consummate floor general Paul is. But as he’s shown over the past two months, during which he’s shooting nearly 56 percent while scoring in double-figures in 39 straight games, Parker has reached a level of polish and control that almost no other point guard in the Association can match. [...] ‘He’s been a fourth-quarter guy for a while,’ Popovich said. ‘He’s just really matured to the point he takes things personally if we’re not playing well. For a couple of those games, for three quarters it was a little lethargic. Then the fourth quarter came and Tony picked up everybody’s game — the defense picked up, he obviously did at the offensive end what he did. He’s been real special in that regard.’ Even so, there was some minor grumbling in various circles, particularly from TNT analyst Charles Barkley, that Golden State guard Stephen Curry was not selected (for the NBA All-Star Game), presumably at Parker’s expense. While praising Curry, Popovich said there is ‘no question’ Parker should have been picked. ‘In the West, especially, it’s tough because there are a lot of good teams and a lot of good players,’ he said. ‘I thought Timmy should have been on the team last year. There are other years I thought Manu or Tony should have made it. That happens to ‘x’ amount of guys every year. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the process.’”

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  • Redd

    He’s only slight a bit more better than Curry.

  • Name

    Parker definitely deserved that spot. So many games won thanks to his efficient play. While the top PG position this season is debatable, I can definitely assure you that Parker is at least top 3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    What else do y’all expect Pop to say? He is obviously bigging up his guy even though everyone and their mama knows that CP is still the best PG.

  • spit hot fiyah

    this season? probably not
    last decade? probably yes taking into account the 3 chips

  • M Cho

    Not sure, but he’s definitely the most underrated pg.

  • playa

    don’t know if anyone plays better than Paul at pg position,but Tony might be close second.San antonio spurs in a way resembles those malone-stockton jazz teams for me- small city,excellent coaches,great,commited fans,and incredible coachable,mature ,professional stars,and in case of spurs underrated as hell- never was a fan of either team,but when i got older i fully realized their class&skill and now appreciate them greatly.I mean, Timmy,Tony,Manu+Pop= sustained greatness,you just cant hate or even dislike that in my opinon.They just destroy you on the court,then proceed to be cool,kind guys you live next door.

  • Caboose

    No hes not.

  • shutup

    AMEN!!!!!

  • Redd

    ??

  • ChosenOne

    He’s an MVP candidate for sure. It’s unlikely he’ll win it, but he’s up there for sure.

  • Caboose

    Parker has been a GOOD cut above Steph this year.

  • Caboose

    Agreed. Seems like he’s an outside shot every year.

  • Redd

    And how’s that?

  • Caboose

    Much higher PER, better TS%, better EFG%, MUCH higher Ast%, lower TOV%, better offensive rating, better defensive rating, much more win shares per 48.

  • bike

    He’s got a point if you take into consideration he’s running an offense that is a thing of pure beauty to behold.

  • Redd

    Much higher PER? 19 to 23?

    FG% is higher for TP

    The Assist differential is made up with the point differential. Keep in mind Curry is carrying a team that hasn’t made it to a playoff & a 2nd year coach.

    TP has a great cast & the best coach in the NBA. TP isn’t much better than Curry.

  • pops

    Parker is head and shoulders above Curry. He is honestly the 2nd best PG in the league. He doesn’t get the recognition because he plays for the “boring” Spurs.

    The Spurs are probably my favorite team to watch, I don’t understand why people call them boring.

    Curry might eventually catch up to Tony but not this season.

  • ChosenOne

    Yeah it does. Most likely LeBron or KD will win it, but CP3 and Parker are the next two runners up if you will.

  • Redd

    I love the Spurs, great team & the most modest.

    But Curry is not too far from TP, I understand TP is a legend but this season, Curry has played amazing.

  • Caboose

    19 to 23? 4 PER points is the difference between Pau Gasol and Lamarcus Aldridge this year.
    -
    Parker shoots 9% higher than Curry. 9% is more than the difference between Westbrook and Chris Paul. That’s a HUGE thing.
    -
    The assist differential is NOT made up. Curry has .9 more ppg and 1.1 less apg. Factor in that the average assist counts for 2.2 points, and Parker accounts for more points than Curry.
    -
    Curry is not “carrying” the Warriors. Both he and David Lee have near the same win shares and PER. This is akin to Parker and Duncan this year.

    -
    Why would having a better supporting cast matter in this debate? Tony has been MUCH better.

  • Caboose

    If the Clips can get to 60+ wins, it’ll be hard to turn down CP…

  • Redd

    TO% is .3

    Curry is the leader in Pts, Assists, and steals on a team making this playoffs for the 1st time with a 2nd yr coach. He’s coming off a injury filled season as well. Keep in mind I agree TP is better but not by leaps & bounds, simply better.

    Nonetheless than RW is better than TP then. Doesn’t matter, Gregg is wrong.

  • Redd

    Supporting cast matters btw cause u mentioned assists.

  • ChosenOne

    Well, the 3 teams who could potentially reach 60+ wins is the Spurs, Heat, Thunder and Clippers. Now, it’s a case of who is the most valuable for their franchise perhaps. I remember in the season Dirk won it, there were arguably players who had better seasons, but he had 67 wins, and was the best player on that Mavs team back then, (and still is!). So yeah, if that 60+ scenario occurs CP may win it. I honestly think it’s come down to LBJ and KD though.

  • Caboose

    4 team*. And yes, it’ll come down to record. Spurs or Clips would have to seriously outperform the Thunder and Heat.

  • Max

    CP3, TP and Westbrook are the top 3 this season.

  • Caboose

    If you wanna take that argument, Parker plays about 5 less mpg than Curry.
    -
    TO% is .8.
    -
    More on assists: AST% is more than 11% higher for Tony vs Curry. Currently, even Kyrie has a higher AST% than Curry. Should be pretty telling.

    -
    I agree, Curry has had an incredible season. But you can’t make an argument that he’s close to Parker and use the Warriors frame of reference instead of using a comparison frame of reference.

  • D_B

    Tony Parker was destined for a life of NBA accolade snubbery.
    Stony Parker was destined for a life of smoking that sticky shrubbery.
    Horny Parker was destined for a life of f*cking NBA wives and debauchery.

  • Redd

    But once you start factoring things like assists you have to use the whole body & not just simply what you see on paper.

    If his development stays on track Curry will be better. Is he now? No. The guy can’t even stay on the floor enough to say that. I think it’s less 1 sided than you see it however in regards to what he has accomplished this year imo.

  • Slick Ric

    I would of agreed last season. Despite his Fg%, I think Russell has been the best this season.

  • RayJr

    CP3 is a bigger difference to his team. The Spurs can survive without Parker and get wins with Gary Neal or Patty Mills on the floor. The Clippers would be devasted without CP3 and to me that makes him MVP over Parker.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    TP9 is always amazingly steady every year

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    i have to agree

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    co sign

  • Sanchez Too

    Me too

  • Max

    lol

  • Lan

    Spurs winning record – ho hum. What’s new?
    Clippers winning record – Amazing. They deserve All Star Spots.

  • Hubert

    No, that just proves Pop is way better than Del Negro.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    *claps*

  • Jerome

    Parker is better than Paul. Just like the Spurs are better than the Clips. A basketball team v. a bunch of upstarts. IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    im glad my popularity is rising higher and higher

  • RayJr

    Well duh Captain Obvious. Pop is probably the best coach in the league but this article is about the players.

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