SLAMonline Top 50: Tony Parker, no. 21

by October 03, 2008

by Jake Appleman

Basketball is a game of flow and movement. It’s a strange combination of dance and science. Point guards, especially good point guards, lead this dance/science, creating the initial actions that often dictate long sequences of play, and the corresponding reactions. Tony Parker is one of these good—very, very good, in fact—point guards.

He might not have the savvy of Nash, the slobbering-at-the-feet-of-his-game-like-he’s-a-basketball-Buddha respect of Kidd, the bull doggedness of D-Will, or the explosive omnipotence of CP3, but he’s right there with those guys at the top of the point guard class, and he’s gotten better grades in winning than any of them.

Despite the fact that his digits would indicate that he took his 3-ball—along with the judiciousness that comes with taking said 3’s—and broke it, it’s a relatively small sample size, so we won’t really dwell. What we will dwell on is that in game 3 of the Conference Semis, with his team staring down a 0-2 hole, he dropped 31 and 11, putting a damper on CP3 and his team’s Honeybuzz. That win began the 4 out of 5 resurgence that would be the highlight of his squad’s season, approximately a year after TP was named Finals MVP.

Parker, and the blistering speed that is part and parcel of his penetration’s dominance, is a vital cog in the NBA’s most consistently well-oiled machine. That’s not to be taken lightly. His ability to put the ball in the basket at a 50 percent clip sets the efficient tone for the rest of his squad. He ignites an underrated fast break when the Spurs do run and, as mentioned above, initiates flow sequences beneficial to the rest of his teammates, be they Tim Duncan in the post or Bruce Bowen releasing a corner three ball.

What would be the point of a muderous robot destroyer if it didn’t have the speed to chase you down in the back of an alley and ram its physical violence down your throat as it matter-of-factly beat the crap out of you.

(Apropos of nothing relating to the rest of this post, he and his wife, Mexican-American desperate housewife, Eva Longoria, are reportedly expecting their first child, Speedy Gonzalez Longoria Parker, this spring.)

And while the squad may be aging, it’s an odd year and people are sleeping on the Spurs again. Would it be out of the realm of possiblity for TP to pick up a second NBA Finals MVP trophy?


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