Tony Parker: Why The Hate? (Part 2)
Last week we looked at the offensive system the great Chris Paul of the Hornets plays in and compared it to Tony Parker and the Spurs. This week we will look at another factor that robs Tony Parker of getting his so-called 10 dimes a game that every good point guard should have, and that is the personnel they play with – in particular at the shooting guard position.
Steve Nash – A few years ago he was the best point guard in the league (before the 07-08 CP3 came along). He has incredible court vision and on ESPN they always show his incredible passes, just like with Chris Paul. However, when looking at the personnel he plays next to in the backcourt (09-10 Jason Richardson/10-11 Vince Carter), you’ll notice that their play-making abilities are almost non-existent when compared to Nash.
Steve Nash 09-10 [11 apg]
Jason Richardson 09-10 [1.8 apg]
Steve Nash 10-11 [11.4 apg]
Vince Carter 10-11 [1.6 apg]
What about Tony Parker? Who is his running mate in the backcourt? Why yes, probably the most loved Spur in SA right now, Manu Ginobili. How are his playmaking abilities next to TP?
Tony Parker 09-10 [5.7 apg]
Manu Ginobili [4.9 apg]
Tony Parker 10-11 [6.6 apg]
Manu Ginobili [4.9 apg]
Ginobili has great court vision and pure point guard characteristics. In pick-and-rolls and on the break he is dangerous as a scorer and a passer. Meanwhile, Vince Carter is not the player he once was, and his passing ability is almost gone, especially since he is already playing with one of the best passing point guards in the league. And former Sun Jason Richardson was always an athletic scorer and nothing more anyway.
Looking back at Parker, he not only has to share his ballhandling abilities with Ginobili throughout the game, but is basically playing the two-guard position in the 4th since Ginobili is the Spurs ‘Closer’. For the Phoenix Suns, Nash will have the ball in his hands almost all the time, especially when it’s deep in the 4th.
Bottom line – Nash, unlike Parker, always has the ball and rarely will you see someone else bring up the ball and initiate the offense if he is on the court. So if there is going to be an assist on a play, there’s a 90% chance it will get credited to Nash. While in Parker’s case, he doesn’t always bring up the ball and start the offense. Parker’s career high in assists per game is 6.9 in the 2008-09 season. Is there any significance to that? Yes, Manu Ginobili was sidelined for most of the season and all of the playoffs, therefore the ball was put in Parker’s hands almost all the time like Steve Nash. This is pretty much true with all of the high assist point guards in the league. Just take a look:
Chris Paul 10-11 [9.8 apg]
Marco Belinelli [1.2 apg]
Rajon Rondo 10-11 [11.2 apg]
Ray Allen [2.7 apg]
Deron Williams 10-11 [12.8 apg w/ Nets]
Anthony Morrow [1.2 apg]
Thus far, looking at the evidence it would seem Tony Parker does get unfair criticism for his style of play considering the system and personnel he plays with, or does he? Next week the finale, Part 3- The Truth.
Date: July 18, 2011