Series Preview: Western Semifinals, SAS vs LAC

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This preview will be segmented into three parts — first the overall statistical comparison, three matchups the series may ride on, and closing thoughts (along with my pick, as well as the picks of all our writers). Should be a good time. Let’s get to it.

• • •

Extremely convoluted table, here. This summarizes the statistical performance of four separate teams, assessed on a per-possession basis through the four factors statistics. A primer on the stats: POSS is the number of possessions, Off/Def Eff is the offensive and defensive efficiency of the team, EFG% is the effective field goal percentage of the team (a derivative of FG% incorporating the added value of threes), TOR is the turnover rate of a team (lower is better!), ORR is the offensive rebound rate of a team, and FTR is the free throw rate of a team. For the four teams, I’ve chosen to show three variations on the San Antonio statistics (the whole-season stats, the last-third stats, and the vs LAC stats) as well as the statistics for the Los Angeles Clippers (which is placed with a red background to differentiate it). To provide an easier-to-digest way to analyze this monstrous table, here are two graphs. We’ll start by looking at San Antonio, from a high level view.

• • •

First, the Spurs offense against the Clipper defense.

A few items of note. The offensive attack the Spurs relied on was primarily rooted in shooting the ball really, really well. The Clippers hardly had a fantastic defense, finishing 10th in the league in EFG% allowed. Despite that, each incarnation of the Spurs absolutely blew the average shooting percentage of a Clipper opponent out of the water, and this led to the Spurs’ incredible offensive numbers against the Clippers in the regular season — their mark of 114 points per 100 possessions is absolutely incredible, and if the Spurs maintain that clip in this series, the Clippers may be done for. In the regular season, the Clippers were generally very good at cutting off the opposing attack by forcing turnovers, ranking 9th in the league at forcing opposing turnovers. Unfortunately for the Clippers, the Spurs happen to be the 3rd best team in the league at taking care of the ball. In a contest between the Clippers’ excellent turnover production and the Spurs’ excellent ball control, the Clippers lost out — in 3 games this season, they forced turnovers on 5% fewer possessions than their season average. On the other hand, the Clippers ended up with a notable upper hand in their defensive rebounding — Blake, DeAndre, and Evans absolutely shut down the offensive boards for the Spurs, forcing the Spurs well below their season average. The Clippers also were able to avoid fouling as much as they do against the average team against the Spurs, with San Antonio shooting almost 7% fewer free throws per minute than the average Clipper opponent. Keeping the Spurs away from free points will be a major key to the Clippers’ chances of staying competitive in this series. Now, let’s look at the Clipper offense versus the San Antonio defense.

This is where Spurs fans may be entitled to concern. While the Spurs were hardly a wonderful defensive team in the early going this season, the Clippers consistently picked apart the Spurs defense like few other teams did this season. They were overall relatively competitive in their three game gauntlet against the Silver and Black this year, losing by only 3 points on a fluke overtime-forcing miscue by Chris Paul in Los Angeles and serving the Spurs one of their five home losses on the year in a rout right before Jackson arrived. These numbers would tend to show why. The Spurs hardly held the Clippers to anything, as they allowed the Clips to shoot less than 1% under their season average. That would be fine, if the Spurs were forcing turnovers or keeping the Clippers off the line — unfortunately, they weren’t. The Clippers foul rate against the Spurs in this season’s three game series would have rated out as the #1 rate in the league, a smidgen ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The only thing the Spurs did notably well against the Clippers on the defensive end was eliminate second shot opportunities, taking the Clippers from their 4th-in-the-league offensive rebounding rate to a more paletable number that (over a full season) would rank decidedly middle-of-the-pack.

• • •

Having looked at the macro-matchup from a high level, we turn to three key player matchups.

MATCHUP #1: EVERYONE BUT DUNCAN vs BLAKE GRIFFIN

All things considered, I’d assess this to be the most important matchup of the series. This isn’t because I’m any fan of Griffin, mind you — I outlined before the season that offhandedly outlined why I don’t particularly like him, and followed that up with a midseason post affirming my preseason suspicions. Blake is a preening half-star, an Amar’e-style big man whose defensive contributions are often less than zero. He’s not at all a good defender, he’s an outright terrible one. And he spends far too many possessions isolating in the midrange despite his dominant at-rim power game that he can employ on virtually every big man in the league. A player like Blake should not be shooting almost 5 shots a game outside of 10 feet. He simply shouldn’t. It’s insane that he does, and a mark of a player that isn’t paying attention to how he can really take his game to the next level.

All that said? Griffin is a player that can absolutely kill you if you don’t cut off his path to the rim. Like Amar’e in his Nash-fueled heyday, Griffin gets buckets on an insane 74% of his attempts at the rim. I’d love to tell you that the Spurs did an excellent job shutting him down, but that wouldn’t be true. Blake shot 24-39 on painted area shots against the Spurs this season. The biggest problem is not (as some might expect) Tim Duncan’s defense — when Duncan and Griffin shared the court, Griffin shot just 10-20 at the rim, indicating that Duncan’s savvy was able to push Griffin out of position and keep him from getting the easy baskets he feasted on in the regular season. Duncan’s poor shooting against Griffin may have been a fluke — to these eyes, the poor shooting from Duncan seemed more rooted in fatigue. (Though I’ll get into a darker possibility in my closing comments.) The real issue when it comes to defending Griffin? Everyone other than Duncan.

With Duncan on the bench, Griffin made 7 of 9 shots at the rim, taking special care to destroy DeJuan Blair — with Blake and Blair sharing the court, Griffin scored on 9 of 15 shots in the restricted area, and an absurd 6 of 7 shots in the painted area. Tiago Splitter did an even worse job in fewer minutes, allowing Blake to go 4-6 from the painted area altogether. In a paragraph sure to set the comments page aflame, it’s worth noting that Matt Bonner did better in the regular season at defending Blake than all but Tim, forcing Griffin into an 8-15 performance from that area. The problem with Bonner isn’t the defense, which he does adequately — it’s the rebounding, which he emphatically doesn’t. With Bonner on the court, Blake averaged a pedestrian 19.3 points on 43% shooting per 36 minutes. Certainly a solid defensive performance, if you ignore the fact that he also averaged 17.6 rebounds per 36 minutes. THAT’S painful. And endemic of the problem facing the Spurs. Other than Duncan, absolutely no one on this roster has shown an aptitude for countering Blake Griffin. At best, Bonner turns him into a 20-18 player who kills us on the glass but doesn’t kill us on the block. For every minute Duncan isn’t on Blake, the Clippers will have a run available to them. Barring a miracle of rotation science from Professor Popovich, the Spurs are going to have far more trouble keeping Blake under wraps than they had in the first round with the Utah rotation.

MATCHUP #2: TONY PARKER vs BLAKE GRIFFIN

This is where the Spurs can — potentially — turn a close series into a blowout. The Clippers are a poor defensive team, but they’re especially poor at helping on penetrating guards, and ESPECIALLY poor at it when Griffin is on the court. To wit? See these numbers. When Blake was on the floor, Tony Parker averaged an insane 25-3-10 per 36 minutes, on 60% shooting that included 9-12 from the painted area, 6-11 from midrange, and two missed threes. The only true blowout the Clippers’ enacted on the Spurs this season came with Parker absent. If Tony Parker can produce consistently dominant play in this series against what may be the absolute weakest penetration defense the Spurs can possibly face in the playoffs, the Spurs will win this series. Rather handily.

MATCHUP #3: THE PAUL FACTOR vs THE GINOBILI FACTOR

Chris Paul — when healthy — is one of the 3 best basketball players on earth. Manu Ginobili — when healthy — is one of the 3 best shooting guards on the planet. The problem for both teams? Neither of these players is 100% healthy right now. Manu spent the first round looking like he needed an IV half the time, and Chris Paul looked like he made his team actively worse in the last two games of the first round. Both of these players are about as far off the reservation as they’ve ever been, entering a playoff series. Neither team knows quite what they’re going to get from their erstwhile star and overall best player. The real question — and the one that can swing a series — is what they can do when they’re hobbled. And in this case, I don’t like saying it, but I do think the Clippers have a pretty strong advantage here. Chris Paul flops like a baby seal when healthy — if you take his health to darker places, do you really think the referees aren’t going to toss him a bone? He’s Chris Paul, playing for a Los Angeles team. Of course he’s going to get the calls. I don’t think it would be altogether unexpected if Paul averages 10 free throw attempts a game in this series. Regardless of how poorly he plays otherwise, if he stays injured, the free throw / foul factor are those that can make blowouts close and close games lean their way. And it’s the advantage the Clippers will — if Vinny Del Negro does anything right — look to use.

• • •

I waffled on my pick for quite some time. Originally, believe it or not, it was Spurs in 7. I realize that this could be portrayed as a lack of confidence in the Spurs — I wouldn’t quite call it that, myself. I think the Spurs are the best team in the playoffs this year, and I think that — all things equal — they can beat any team in the NBA in a 7 game series right now. They’re playing incredibly well right now. They sport the best defense in the western conference, the best offense of any team still playing for keeps, and they’re rested. So, you might ask, why would I have this series as anything other than a gentleman’s sweep? Three core reasons.

  • Chris Paul. Even if you assume he’s in a state of disrepair for games 1 and 2 (an assumption I’m not 100% on board with), the Chris Paul of today is in a better place to slice the Spurs to pieces than the Chris Paul of 2008 — his step-back jumper is better than ever, and if you think back, the main strategy Pop used to contain him in 2008 was to limit his repertoire to his step-back and not much else. If Pop does that again, the Spurs are in trouble. And in a close game, there’s not a single player in the league other than a healthy Manu I’d rather have in my corner than a seething Chris Paul. And don’t lie to yourself. That man is ALWAYS seething.
  • Reggie Evans is the dirtiest player in the league, and although it may be blasphemy to say so, I’m worried about Duncan. If there’s any cadre of players in the league that I wouldn’t trust in a 7 game series, I’d take Andrew Bynum’s feckless rage over the calculated antics of Evans, Paul, and Butler over the course of a series. Evans virtually never gets called for takedowns, punches, and the strikings of a generally lower-tier big man’s ruthless impotent rage. He’s not as big as Bynum, but he hits just about as hard. And Paul (for all his positives) absolutely loves the special kind of flop where you flail your arms into your defender’s face and “hope” they don’t get the “incidental” contact. I’m worried about what Evans does to Duncan’s knees, and what Paul does to Manu’s nose, and what the rest of the Clippers’ do on the dead-ball fouls and out-of-line contact that rarely gets called for that Clipper team.
  • The Clippers showed in the Memphis series that they can play a physical, knock-down style of ball. In last year’s attempt to conquer that style, various members of the Spurs did a poor job reacting to that — Tony Parker stopped producing, Duncan’s shot left him, and the bench laid down. This Clippers team is in no way as good a defensive team as that Memphis team, but keeping with point two, it’s certainly possible they choose to play dirty defense instead of good defense. And in the end, it’s certainly possible that has the same effect, and shuts down the Spurs offense. Thus turning what should be a hilariously easy series to the Spurs into a battle.

In the end, I cut down my prediction to Spurs in 6. Because despite all this, the Spurs are the better team. We’ve been playing incredible defense as of late, and our offense has been even better. Telling Gregg Popovich to outsmart Vinny Del Negro is like using your Buick as a flyswatter. And even though Blake Griffin performed well against our bench big men and the Clippers have Chris Paul, the Spurs have an unpredictable team concept and are without question a better team than the team that went 2-1 against the Clippers earlier in the year, with our only loss coming without Tony Parker. In the statistical sense, the best bet for this series (accounting for a banged up Paul and a busted up Griffin) would be a five game Spurs win. I’ll give them another game, because while I’m not altogether afraid of the Clippers, I’m afraid of Reggie Evans and I think Chris Paul’s twenty six thousand free throw attempts per game will probably swing a game or two. But even though I get ill tidings from this series, I can’t possibly pick the Clippers for more. Spurs in 6.

(And between you and me? I really hope I’m overestimating the buggers. I do not like the Clippers, sam I am.)

• • •

Tim Varner_ Graydon Gordian_ Andrew McNeill_ Jesse Blanchard_ David Menendez Aran_ Aaron McGuire_ Chris Blackmon
SAS vs LAC
SAS in 4

SAS in 5

SAS in 6

SAS in 5

SAS in 5

SAS in 6

SAS in 4
OKC vs LAL
OKC in 6

OKC in 6

OKC in 6

OKC in 5

OKC in 6

OKC in 5

OKC in 6
  • Travis K

    There’s no mention of Boris here? All three of the match-ups with the Clips this year were with Richard instead. I’d be interested to see Boris’ numbers against Griffin at Charlotte, although they are likely off.

  • Dusty

    Like the article but where are you getting info that Ginobil is “not healthy” and “hobbled”? From everything i’ve seen and heard, he’s 100% healthy and ready to go but just had a hard time finding his shooting stroke in the first few games of the Utah series.

  • Tyler

    Nice write up.

    I would add Blake Griffin’s injury status as a major factor (I think CP will be fine). If he’s only 75%, that will definitely hurt their advantage on the glass, as well as hurt their second best offensive threat.

    I also don’t see the Clips’ physicality affecting our play too much (I tend to think Parker and Manu get more amped and determined the more they get banged around).

    Should be fun.

  • http://oniondome.wordpress.com Mark

    What about fatigue on the Clippers side? They just finished a grueling 7 game war with the Grizzlies, don’t you think they’ll be exhausted?

  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    @ Travis: In only 23 minutes on the court together this season, Diaw allowed Blake to shoot 8-10 in the painted area. Too small a sample size to make a legitimate case, though. In 2010, he let Blake go 11-18 in the paint. He was magical against Millsap, but for a defender like Boris, it’ll be a considerably harder task to bottle up Griffin.

  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    @ Dusty: Just intuition, I don’t have any news you don’t. He might be fine, but his play in the first round screamed lingering injury to me. His shooting stroke is the most jarring thing, but his defense has been rather poor to these eyes and overall his play has just not been anywhere close to healthy levels yet. He may yet prove me wrong (and completely destroyed the Clippers in the regular season), but I’m certainly worried about him in this series.

  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    @ Mark: Could be a HUGE factor. The reason I didn’t mention it is that there’s also a possibility of the opposite, where the Spurs come out quite rusty and spot the Clips a big lead in Game 1. Either way, it’ll be a factor. I just suspect rust on the Spurs side should roughly even out fatigue on the Clips side, at least for the first few games. In a long series, though, it’s a great reason to pick against the Clippers — even if (like me) you fear the series could go 6 or 7, the Clippers should be far too exhausted by Game 7 to give it a good college try. And even if it goes 7, that game is in San Antonio. I don’t think the Spurs aren’t going down in San Antonio in a game 7, not this year.

  • Other Tyler

    Another thing that the Blake Griffin matchup doesn’t take into account is Diaw. Diaw is the guy that could turn the series, simply because he’s a quicker defender than Blair, doesn’t fall for pump fakes, and can (potentially) stretch the floor like Bonner on offense. He will be the key keeping Griffin at bay. I doubt Blair gets much burn unless the situation is dire.

  • Wayne

    Aaron,

    In the Clippers win, the game was tied with under 5 minutes to go and a 6-point game with about 2.5 to go. I wouldn’t call that a “rout” or a “blowout”.

  • lvmainman

    Add Kenyon Martin to the Reggie Evans thuggery. He punishes people after a teammate has fouled a player, and that player tries to continue for an and one.

    I definitely see a Spurs player getting stitches or a timeout for a cut man to stop the bleeding.

    Spurs in five. Only because Griffin is clearly at 75%, otherwise it would be Spurs in 7.

  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    @ Wayne: Very good point. I always remember that game as being worse than it was. Still — Paul and the overall Clipper attack destroyed the Spurs defense in the fourth quarter, and while the Spurs would have been better offensively with Tony, the defense wouldn’t have been any better. I think with Jackson and Diaw we’ll be better on defense than we were to close out that game, but the crunch time defense in that game really worries me. Especially since that’s the last we’ve seen of the Clippers this season.

  • Wayne

    @Aaron

    Look at the shot chart for that game. The Clippers had 26 points in the paint and made 20 free throws. They scored 76 points outside and shot 14-27 from 3-pt. When teams shoot that well, they score a lot.

    I’d bet you that defensive statistics show the Spurs are much better with Tony in the game. Just a hunch.

  • ZardsALards

    Healthy Manu over seething Chris Paul? For shame Mr. McGuire, for shame.

  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    @ Wayne: Fair observations. The Spurs’ defensive stats are a bit better with Tony Parker in the game, that’s true. I’d attribute that less to Tony and more to getting Gary Neal off the court, as Neal is by large margin the worst defender on our roster. My only concern would be that while that shooting is quite out of character, the Spurs have spent the entire season leaving those shots (relatively) open. Those are the shots Pop WANTS teams to take, though because of our lacking defense before, they were also shots they stood a relatively good chance of making. Jackson/Kawhi/Green’s swarming attack should help that in this series, as it’s helped in pushing the Spurs defense to another gear these last few months. And you’re right, duplicating a 14-27 from long range performance in 4 games is going to be incredibly difficult for the Clippers. But I still have some worries. Blake, Paul, the underratedly dirty defense from the Clippers — all of these are slight in form, but combined, typecast the Clippers as a team that matches up better with us than we’d think on first glance.

    At least in my view. I know you’ve got Spurs in 5, and I think a sweep or a 5-game series is certainly within the realm of possibility. But after that game’s performance, even though it was quite out of the ordinary, I’m not at all convinced the Clippers can’t steal a game in San Antonio and make this a real series. To be totally honest, I think the Grizzlies might’ve been a better matchup for the Spurs this year — Randolph is nothing like he was last year, and Marc Gasol is completely exhausted. They rely too much on isolating Gay and run a less creative playbook than last year, and this year’s Spurs team is built to counter many of the reasons the Spurs were knocked out early last year. That Memphis team is worse than last year’s version, and these Spurs are better. Which is partly why I can’t pick against the Spurs in this series, even though I think it has the potential to be rather difficult.

  • Justin

    First, thanks for the write-up. I consistently enjoy the basketball articles on 48MOH much more than anything ESPN and other major news outlets come up with.

    I just wanted to address one missing piece: the Spurs advantages at the wing.

    Surely Paul and Griffin will contribute heavily in favor of LAC, but I can’t imagine their wing not being outscored by 20 points a game. Their entire wing rotation (starters and reserves) shoot a terrible 40% from the field, while the Spurs wing players almost universally shoot 40% from *beyond the arc*!

  • Titletown99030507d

    Spurs in 6

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  • http://www.gothicginobili.com Aaron McGuire

    Huge news from Vinny Del Negro, courtesy of Jeff McDonald:

    https://twitter.com/#!/JMcDonald_SAEN/status/202119691844591616

    If Blake is THAT injured, never mind my prediction. Because the Clippers’ biggest advantage is the fact that none of our bigs but Duncan can really bang with him in the post. If he’s too injured and frail to do that, the Clippers’ entire offensive repertoire against the Spurs becomes pick and pop jumpers and step back long twos for Chris Paul. The Spurs defense wouldn’t even need to be excellent to win against that kind of a feeble offensive attack. It turns a close series to a sweep. That’s how big that is.

    It’s possible Vinny is pulling a classic Phil Jackson move and pretending Blake is more injured than he is for ref sympathy and to confuse the opposing coach’s playbook. Well, it’s possible until you remember that we’re talking about Vinny Del Negro, the worst coach in the league and the least-likely to think of something like that, ever. I’m far more inclined to believe Blake is actually that injured, his talk of playing through it is little more than talk, and the Spurs are closer to sweeping the series than the Clippers are to winning it. Huge, huge news. Tide-turning news.

  • liveperl

    Nice analysis, but this Clipper team is much different than the one early in the season. The bench has gelled and excelled – equaling if not bettering the Spurs’ reserves. Sure, a grueling 7 game series is worrisome but it’s the classic question – rhythm vrs rest? The Spurs are obviously the favorite here, but I still think Paul is the best player on the court. Don’t be surprised if the Clips pull this out.

  • arnmart

    I think another reason the spurs won’t wilt in a physical type of series is that now we Stephen Jackson who brings that same type of grit and dog that we simply didn’t have last year. I think Diaw also plays very well in grind it out type of situations simply because of his girth and that ability to pull the spin move out or a crossover which can be a good way to combat someone leaning on you constantly. Sort of the offensive version of pulling the chair out from a posting big.

  • Alixander

    Spurs in 4…..winning streaks continues to 18 in a row….which rhymes with….GO SPURS GO!

  • Anthony Mcdonald

    Spurs in five. Okc in a four game sweep.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Clippers are the dirtiest team in the league. I would like to see them arrested at the airport and held in jail in San Antonio. Reggie Evans is an absolute criminal. Kenyon Martin, Blake Griffin, they are all SOOO dirty. If I had a ticket to the game I would be dragged from the court!!!! Please Spurs, if I drive down from Vermont do not allow me in the arena…

    I am a hypocrite. I have said so many times that we are not the team and only watch if you can enjoy but I draw the line at a series where Spurs players can very well get injured by the dirtiest team in the league in 20 years. The Clippers can never beat the Spurs but they can prevent the Spurs from winning title number 5 if they injure players and I think that might be their goal.

    Please fellow Spurs fans if you are in the arena and if the refs are not keeping control take matters into your own hands, get on the court and protect our Spurs. Storm the court and take Reggie Evans down! Better yet, do whatever you can to get him to storm the stands. Do not allow this to get ugly, stay on the refs, stay on the Clippers.

    In this series the fans are important because of the message they can send to the refs. Go Spurs FANS Go!

  • squeemu

    Wow, a Spurs fan saying the Clippers are the dirtiest team in the league in 20 years while rooting for a team that recently had Bruce Bowen. Are you kidding me?

    Further, the Grizzlies are a much dirtier team than the Clippers.

  • Clipperfan

    Honestly I don’t get why the Clippers are dirty. Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin aren’t exactly angels but they haven’t been that bad this year. They stepped up against the Grizzlies because, as you might have noticed last year, they take quite on hands approach to basketball and well those gentleman excel under those conditions.

    For the rest: sorry we aren’t a team of future hall-of-famers with a hall-of-fame coach that have played together for years and years. Time to get down from your high horse and accept that there are other ways of doing things.

  • Stijl

    Local TV interviewed Blake Griffin and filmed him shooting around with team. He didn’t look like somebody who IS NOT going to play.

    Regarding this article…a great read. It would be interesting to see the statistics of teams that rest for long periods of time when playing against a team coming off a 7 game series as to which has the better success rate winning that series as well as the stats of a player sustaining an injury from being non-competitive for over a week compared to a player continuing after a grueling series.

    If memory serves me correct…and I can’t name teams at this time…there have been several instances in the past which the well rested team didn’t fair well against the team which just came out of a long, hard fought series. Which I hope not be the case in this series.

    Go Spurs Go !!!

  • Stijl

    Prediction…

    If Spurs don’t win it in 5…I think it goes to game 7. And if that be the case…?

  • Easy B

    If we win game one, we will likely win in 5
    If we lose game one, we might have to win in 7
    Every team can get beat on a given day, but can’t see us losing this series
    It wouldn’t surprise me if we win by 20 tomorrow, by 2 in game 2, steal game 3, then lose game 4 a day later, followed by a comfortable win in game 5
    Memphis proved this year and last year that if you light a fire under an opposing teams confidence, it can blow up in your face
    Spurs need to snuff out any clippers rope-a-dope in game one

  • Daniel T

    The most recent statistics of a playoff team having to sit around for a week after sweeping an opponent then playing a team coming off a 7 games series victory are in. Rust is overrated, OKC wins in a blowout.

  • Pablo

    Why does everyone say Paul is so much better than Parker? Nobody seems to consider that Tony did his damage in less minutes, often only playing 3 quarters because he engineered such a masterful defeat of the other team.

    Let’s extrapolate Tony’s stats at 32.1 MPG into Paul’s 36.4 MPG…

    Tony @ 36.4 MPG
    20.8 PTS
    8.7 AST
    3.3 REB

    Paul @ 36.4 MPG
    19.8 PTS
    9.1 AST
    3.6 REB

    So as you can see, Parker is JUST AS GOOD as Chris Paul statistically given the same minutes. Of course Paul has more steals and flops, and shoots better 3PT% and FT%. They BOTH make excellent plays to involve their teammates and will do the heavy lifting/scoring when that’s what is needed.

    Honestly, Tony has been playing like one of the best PG’s in the world since he was dominating for Les Bleus. I think this is gonna be his year to finally establish himself as one of the Top 3 PG’s ahead of guys like Rondo and Deron. Top 3 would be Paul, Parker, and Rose (RIP until 2014-15).

    If the Spurs win the Championship you can bank on Tony Parker getting his 2nd Finals MVP and perhaps he will finally get the credit he deserves as one of the best PG’s to lace ‘em up!

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  • AV

    @Pablo Tony Parker is great. There is a reason that he was 5th in the MVP voting, but Paul is better. He has a far better efg% and led the league in steals by a large margin.

    It’s nice to see all the Spurs fans underestimate the Clippers. I mean, it is the Clippers after all. But don’t be surprised when this series isn’t as physical as the one against Memphis and more of our scorers get involved in the game. Our defense stepped up and played more physically than (arguably) the most physical team in the league.

  • Stijl

    @Pablo

    Nice post. Thumbs up!!!