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Tony Parker is finally getting the respect he deserves.
1. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker will eventually earn the respect he deserves—whether he cares or not.
Earlier this month, in the media conference following Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors, I asked the San Antonio Spurs point guard what he thought about the emerging stardom of Stephen Curry; it must have fired him up as a competitor, right?
Parker didn't blink, perhaps because he's a keen fibber with public relations sense, or he's a guy who's simply driven by titles and his coach.
“I don't really pay attention to the top-five point guard [lists]; they always forget about me anyway,” Parker responded.
“It doesn't matter to me anymore, seriously I play for the city of San Antonio, for the Spurs, all our fans, Coach Pop, my teammates. That's what makes me go."
Whether he cares or not, though, Parker led the Spurs to eliminating Curry and the Warriors. He is now the best point guard remaining in the 2013 NBA playoffs.
Parker gets lost in the veteran shuffle that also includes Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. But at just 31 years old, Parker already has three titles and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award.
None of the remaining point guards this postseason score as much (22.2 points) or as efficiently (46.5 percent) as Parker. His ability to break down defenses from the midfloor and draw help opens up the perimeter. Because of this, and the nature of the Spurs offense, he also collects plenty of hockey assists from the extra pass initially created by Parker.
No remaining point guard is more dangerous offensively than Parker.
2. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley earned a respect that will never extend to Parker, as the Memphis point guard earned NBA All-Defense honors in the regular season. He continues to defend well this postseason.
Conley is also proving his value as the perimeter threat of a Grizzlies team with a sturdy interior. He has moved the Grizzlies through the first two rounds, including a matchup against Chris Paul.
Conely's shooting percentage of 38.7 percent this postseason and 28.6 from three-point range drops him below Parker, though. Still, the 25-year-old Conley is averaging 17.3 points, 7.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds. He's also averaging 1.6 steals.
3. George Hill, Indiana Pacers
George Hill is bringing a new element to the podium. When the Indiana Pacers point guard got in front of a mic along with his starting teammates to address media prior to the Eastern Conference Finals, he had one message: "Follow me on Twitter."
So, he isn't shy.
The 27-year-old is playing for his hometown Pacers, and he has averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game this postseason. His length as a defender contributes to the Pacers' defensive strength.
Like Conley, and perhaps the rest of Indiana's perimeter, Hill needs to increase his shooting percentage higher than its current 40.9 percent mark if the Pacers can pull off an upset against the Heat.
4. Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
It's fair to say that Mario Chalmers is the least effective point guard remaining this postseason. Ultimately, when you play alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, there's limited opportunities somewhere.
It isn't to say that Chalmers is ineffective, but his role is the most curbed. Chalmers is taking 2.6-of-6.1 (41.8 percent) shot attempts per game and averages 4.4 assists.