Though it’s a condensed season, I have the privilege of covering the San Antonio Spurs’ home games here at Project Spurs.
While attending home games, I began to notice themes game-by-game. One theme I’ve noticed is the chemistry between two former European players currently producing with the pick-and-roll on offense for the Spurs – Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter.
When Parker and Splitter run the pick-and-roll together, its become more and more consistent that something positive is going to be the outcome of the play. Either Parker will hit the outside jumper as two defenders trail Splitter on the roll, or Parker will wait just long enough to get Splitter the ball in the right spot at the right time.
Though Splitter played just 17 minutes in the Spurs’ win on Wednesday against the Rockets, I noticed that he and Parker were most productive when playing on the floor at the same time.
I spoke with Parker after the game about the chemistry he and Splitter have running the pick-and-roll, he definitely agreed there is something working there.
“I love playing pick-and-roll with Tiago,” said Parker, “for whatever reason, when he rolls, he’s always in a great spot. It’s like I always find him, and I just like playing with him.”
Parker, who spent time in Europe before coming to the NBA, said the connection between him and Splitter derives from their roots in Europe.
“I guess it’s like the European connection, I know he’s from Brazil but he’s been playing in Europe forever.” said Parker, “When he was 13, he was in Spain so he played in Europe for so long, so I guess we play the pick-and-roll pretty well together.”
Here’s a breakdown of how well Parker and Splitter play in the pick-and-roll. Their minutes together definitely show the progress.
Vs. Houston Rockets 02-01-2012
First quarter: Parker: 1 assist to Splitter, 12 minutes. Splitter: 2 points from Parker assist, 5:20 minutes.
Second quarter: Parker: 0 assists, 6:28 minutes. Splitter: 0 points, 5:32 minutes
Third quarter: Parker: 0 assists, 7:53 minutes. Splitter: 0 points, 0 minutes
Fourth quarter: Parker: 1 assist to Splitter, 12 minutes. Splitter: 4 points, two from Parker assists, 6 minutes.
As you can see, of Parker’s four total assists, two of them were to Splitter. And, all six of Splitter’s points had Parker involved in delivering the ball.
Imagine when Manu Ginobili returns and gets in on the pick-and-roll Euro offense?