What has made them so good?
Well, besides strong play from their bench, a Boris Diaw who almost makes us forget Charlotte Bobcat Boris, rookie stud Kawhi Leonard and the ever-dependable Tim Duncan, the Spurs have Tony Parker.
While Parker was often mentioned in the MVP conversation, he wasn’t the MVP this season. That honor went—rightfully—to LeBron James. Through the first round of the postseason, Chris Paul was the point guard to dazzle us. Even through injury and late-game struggles, we raised our eyebrows, oohed and ahhed, allowed ourselves to be swept up in his magic. Neither of these players have done for their respective teams what Parker is doing for the Spurs.
Yes, Tim Duncan is the face of the franchise, but it’s been Parker who has held the keys this season. And he knows what he’s doing. While we take him for granted, when you actually sit down and watch Parker play basketball, it’s breathtaking.
He isn’t as flashy as Paul, but he certainly isn’t boring. He’s solid and smart and always knows exactly what his team needs. Similarly to how Rajon Rondo orchestrates everything for the Celtics, Parker not only has the recipe for the Spurs' success, he executes it perfectly almost every time.
To defeat San Antonio, you need to make them beat themselves.
There isn’t any room for error because they will take a three-point lead and systematically multiply it by five before you have a chance to look up at the scoreboard and see a 15-point hole.
While Paul has brought excitement to the Clippers, Parker is forcing all of us to acknowledge the beauty that is in fundamentally-sound basketball. A former Finals MVP, it is a little silly how much credit we often forget to give him, but it’s beyond time.
Barring disaster, Parker has the Spurs poised for a trip to the Western Conference Finals. As no-nonsense as they come, expect him to continue his push when he gets there.