Tony Parker’s consistency key for Spurs to take Game 4

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The San Antonio Spurs have a problem. Not only down 2-1 in their first round playoff match up with the Mavericks going into tonight’s Game 4, they haven’t put together a great game in the series. They’re still a Vince Carter prayer away from being up 2-1, but Carter didn’t miss and the Spurs are in a hole. They’ll need guys to step up and be more consistent to pull out the road win, and that consistency needs to start at the top.

Each of the first three games Tony Parker has looked unstoppable… In the first quarter. After that he’s been merely average. In this series, at least 40 percent of Parker shot attempts have come in the first quarters of each game. He was 6-of-8 in Game 1, 3-of-6 in Game 2 and 4-of-6 in Game 3. Not only is he shooting a lot, but he’s making them too. As the game wear on, however, Parker contributes less and less. In Game 3, Parker was 2-of-5 in the second quarter and 1-of-5 in the second half. He had just two points and no assists in the second half.

Parker struggling to score is one thing, the Spurs might be able to manage that, but there was more than one occasion in the second half Parker came around a screen and Shawn Marion or another defender gave him the same 15-20 footer he was knocking down in the first quarter. For whatever reason, he didn’t take it. He’d pass it to the wing, or dribble the shot clock down. It’s one of the reasons San Antonio’s pace has dipped from 97.07 in the regular season to 93.01 in the first round (Dallas has also done a marvelous job limiting fast break opportunities).

It’s unclear what the reason for the indecisiveness is, but Parker told the San Antonio Express News‘ Mike Monroe that Shawn Marion is doing a good job keeping him out of the paint, adding that he needs to stay aggressive.

“He’s athletic and long but he’s just going under the pick and rolls,” Parker said. “They’re just switching and going under so I just have to stay aggressive and make that outside shot.”

I don’t know if Parker’s back injury is flaring up again, he’s getting tired from chasing guys like Jose Calderon around, or he’s just trying to get his teammates involved, but it’s manifested itself in a lack of aggression as the game goes on. Especially with the Spurs bench struggling, the Spurs need an aggressive Parker to even up and eventually win this series.

Stats provided by NBA.com. 

Tip-off from American Airlines Center is set for 8:30 p.m. and can be seen on both TNT and Fox Sports Southwest. Any fans in the Dallas area looking for tickets can visit our friends at TiqIQ.

  • brunostrange

    I’m afraid to say it, but we might be witnessing the miles finally catching up with Tony.

  • jgonzaba

    I’m scared.

  • spurs10

    We will witness a much more aggressive Spurs team tonight. We will bounce back big tonight!

  • Ra

    Good little blurb, but the site has been light on analysis since the end of game 3.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    Busy weekend unfortunately. I was out of town and Tynan moved from San Antonio to Houston. Things should be back to normal today.

  • LukeDawg

    I think we can all agree we would like to see a more aggressive Parker in game 4, but ill take 20 and 6 from him on an off night every time. Parker’s play as of late is far from the reason this team is in a 2-1 hole, considering they are giving up 111 points a game on 50% shooting in their two losses. If this team is going to claw their way back into this series they key is going to be on the defensive side of things. Something tells me Pop is telling the team something along those lines as well.

  • Ra

    Thanks. We do indeed whine a little :), but only because you guys do such great analysis and we’ve become accustomed to reading it.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    It’s better than y’all telling us to stop writing.

  • Tom

    Cant count on anyone on this team, Tony is i don’t know where, Manu is playing well tonight, Tiago can’t do anything offensively. Kawhi, Bellinelli, Mill have been such busts. These Spurs are walking around getting pushed over and just abused, their demeanor is just flat out soft. This is such a disappointing effort. All lose balls, 50/50 go to the Mavs. What a disappointment

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