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Tony Parker for MVP?
No need for fancy introductions and sorts because it should as simple as it is straightforward. Tony Parker should be the MVP, he should be the MVP if the season ended today, and he should also be the MVP at the end of season if the San Antonio Spurs continue their strong play.
I wouldn’t thought this day would come where Parker would be considered as a serious MVP candidate but right now he is, playing on the league leading Spurs, he may not have the gaudy stats of LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but he also does not have the luxury of playing with another clear cut option, yes he’s got Tim Duncan, but an aging Duncan playing 30 minutes a game isn’t exactly Dwayne Wade or Russell Westbrook.
What’s phenomenal about Parker’s play isn’t his production per game but how he has improved his all around game and took the torch from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as the undisputed leader of this current Spur team who is sitting pretty at the top of the Western Conference with a 45-13 record.
Here’s a point to consider, Parker plays a full five minutes less per game compared to LeBron James and Kevin Durant, clocking in at 33 minutes per game. So Per 36, Parker is averaging an incredible 23 points and 8.5 assists on 54% shooting, which of course incomparable when compared to the likes of LeBron and Durant. Which brings us to advanced statistics, but nonetheless he is still the best shooting guard in the league in fact he shoots the best percentage of any player that is ranked in the top 15 of the league.
Parker’s array of floaters, runners and layups in the lane are pretty much unstoppable, but what differentiates this season’s Tony Parker from those before is the fact that he has actually ACTUALLY improved his outside shot. He is now an actual threat from the vaunted corner three, which is a staple of the Spur offense, making 45% of his shots from the corner pocket, but what stands out from his numbers this year is his improvement on long jumpers which teams tend to leave him on because of his perceived lack of shooting ability, hitting a more than respectable 47% from that range. His improvement on his jumpers allows Parker to diversify his game, whether it’s his slashing game or pick and roll with Spurs bigs.
Which brings us to this argument where Charles Barkley made prior to the All-Star game, he argued that Jamal Crawford and J.R Smith should make the All-Star team because of their teams’ winning record, but also because it is their only ever opportunity to make an All-Star team, which doesn’t make much sense but it definitely applies to Tony Parker’s case because Parker isn’t shooting 41% from the field and his success on the court literally translates into wins for the Spurs.
This could also be Parker’s only chance to ever realistically compete for an MVP award, because of the way the San Antonio team is constructed. It does not only award a small market team for being able to nurture a team that has been consistently winning for the past decade, but also a player who is the best player on the best team.
He should win the MVP also because of how the Spurs were overlooked in the Western Conference, a fading power with the rise of the Clippers, the huge Howard trade that brought him to L.A. None of that affected the Spurs as they still worked their way to the top of the conference, holding right now a three game lead over the Clippers. He should win the MVP because he is a 6 foot 2 guard who is not overly explosive (although extremely quick), couldn’t really dunk even if he wanted to; just like how Steve Nash won the MVP.
Tony Parker should win the MVP, he is not a fashionable choice, but he sure as hell is a worthy recipient.
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