The matchup of the game for tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets will be between Tony Parker and Deron Williams.
These two point guards are the stars of their teams and will look to continue on their respective win streaks. San Antonio has won five in a row and Brooklyn, under former Spurs assistant and new head coach P.J. Carlesimo, are in a two-game winning streak coming into tonight's game.
Williams has been averaging 17ppg and 4.5apg under Carlesimo's short tenure as head coach of the team while Parker has been averaging 19.2ppg and 7.3apg this season. Williams has been troubled for most of the year with a foot injury and it's showed in his play with him struggling in his shooting at 40%FG (well under his career average of 45%).
What Parker Must Do On Offense:
TP has to keep moving, especially if Williams' foot injury isn't 100% so far this season. A mix of constant movement on offense will effect Williams' defense and more importantly, his offense on the other side of the court. If the Spurs can limit Williams' influence on offense, it'll make their small lineup with Gerald Wallace difficult to score with on the offensive end if Deron can't create for his teammates.A constant motion by Parker with picks will also force a small team that's not used to playing that way make mistakes, especially playing two legitimate bigs in Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan together. A pick and roll attack will hurt the Nets, especially if they switch and Williams will have to guard a cutting big man that will result in an easy basket.
What Parker Must Do On Defense:
He has to force Williams to shoot. With his shooting percentage considerably lower than his career average, it's a safer bet to force him to shoot than to give him an open lane or force another Net player to beat the Spurs. The worst case scenario is he gets in a groove and makes his shots, but shutting everyone else down makes it a one man show that'll be difficult to win the game for Brooklyn. If a pick is set, don't be surprised if Parker goes under it for the majority of the game and playing Williams back for the shot. This will be a tough game for Williams and the Nets, even with a 2-0 record with their new coach. They defeated two teams that aren't considered contenders, the Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers, so playing a championship contender in a difficult conference may expose their inexperience with a new head coach that has a different philosophy and coaching style than their former one.