Time for Tony Parker to be considered elite


BY NICK BARTLETT, Feedcrossing.com syndication 

I figured this would be a great time to bring up the fact that Tony Parker is one of the best point guards in the NBA. Why now you might ask?

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker receives instruction from head coach Greg Popovich. Photo by: Tiago Hammil / Flickr

The Spurs just lost their first game in the playoffs after winning 20 straight overall and Parker struggled to get anything going at all in Game 3 against the Thunder. Well, let’s remind ourselves how much of a rarity this is. Even in this “terrible” game for Parker he still managed 16 pts on 50% shooting. However, the Spurs were finally outplayed in the postseason and a big reason it took so long has been the steady play of Tony Parker throughout the entire season.

I’ve always loved Parker’s game throughout his career (I always wondered why he was rated so low in all of the 2K games!) and always thought he was right up there with the other elite point guards in the league. After this year and his total performance in the playoffs, it’s time for him to be considered as a top PG in the NBA.

His stats might not be as eye-popping as other top point guards, but it’s his ability to command the most efficient and complete team in the league that is most impressive. I truly believe he’s been the most underrated player in the NBA for the last couple years.

Thankfully MVP voters finally gave him some love as he finished 5th in the voting and was the 2nd PG behind CP3.

He might not dunk like Westbrook or Rose, be able to put up 57 points like D-Will, or be a constant triple-double threat like Rondo, but he did lead the best team in the West in scoring and assists. That is a pretty impressive stat in its own and he deserves more credit than is being given.

His overall stats aren’t typically the most gaudy because of the Spurs’ style of play. The emphasis is much more team-focused than a specific individual-focused style. He also doesn’t get the overall minutes that most starting PGs receive because of Coach Pop’s coaching style. The fact that Parker has been able to embrace this role his entire career should really solidify his greatness on the court.

You can list every elite point guard in the league and I can give you an argument of why Tony Parker is right at their level or even better. He is an extremely consistent point guard with 3 championships. How can that not be considered elite especially after his stellar play this season?

When you think of top point guards you must include Tony Parker with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rando, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Steve Nash. He has been an exceptional floor leader for the clearly most consistent franchise throughout the NBA in the past decade. Oh and let’s keep in mind he has more championships than all of the rest of those PGs combined!

I’m not saying he’s absolutely the best point guard out there, but it sure is debatable. One thing is definite: It’s time for Tony Parker to get the star-respect he deserves!

All he does is win!

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