After leading his team to a 2-0 series lead over the Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is averaging 23 points, 8.5 assists, shooting 55% in the series and is absolutely shredding Utah’s defense.
Before his team was blown out by 31-points, Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin had some high praise for Parker, while also comparing him to “the Answer,” Allen Iverson.
“He’s a good player,” said Corbin of Parker, “and as he goes, his team goes.”
And isn’t that the case this season? Parker is having his best year of his career, and the Spurs just had arguably, one of their best regular seasons in franchise history.
“He’s had a tremendous year for these guys and he’s had some great games against us through the course of the year,” continued Corbin on Parker, “he had a good game the first game.” Parker’s year has put him in the top-five NBA MVP candidacy.
When asked if he could compare Parker’s dominance as a scoring guard, Corbin compared Parker to the “Answer.”
“Well you look at a guy like Allen Iverson,” said Corbin, “not only does he get in the lane and make lay-ups, he makes difficult lay-ups. I’d hate to compare one guy to another but he reminds me a little bit of a guy like him who will break your defense down, and once he gets in, he’s capable of making difficult lay-up shots against big guys.”
The reason Corbin didn’t want to compare Parker to another player, he knows Parker’s too unique.
“But Tony’s a different animal, he’ll push (the pace) every time, and each time he’ll try to find a way to get two guys on the ball and his speed and his quickness will allow him to get passed the guy that’s defending him.”
When told Parker likes to actually “practice” unlike Iverson once said, Corbin made an assumption
“Tony likes practice? I bet the does,” finished Corbin.
Parker didn’t have a good series against the Memphis Grizzlies in last year’s first round playoff series loss. Parker also didn’t have a great game last month when the Spurs played the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in the regular season, and the Spurs were embarrassed at home. He responded with two dominant back-to-back games against the Lakers and the Spurs ended up routing them in both matches.
As long as the Spurs stay healthy through these playoffs, they have the personnel to claim the glory as the last team standing. Parker, their leader, will have to be the one to guide them through this journey.
Because as Corbin said, the Spurs go as Parker goes.