Tony Parker: My Better is Better than Your Better
I think Steve Nash is the shit.
No, I don’t mean ‘shit’, I mean the shit – I think the man can ball with the best of them. That sounds out of place coming from the designated ‘Spurs fan’ on the site, but I’m not about to deny his status as one of the best point guards, ever.
So during the final few minutes of game three, I found myself in a rather odd conversation with a Spurs fan, one in which I was arguing in favor of Steve Nash. Stay with me here.
I have a habit of getting into ridiculous conversations with people towards the end of basketball games, particularly ones that include double digit leads. Maybe three and a half quarters of Heineken makes people chatty, or perhaps your team on the better side of a blow out gives you the right to talk some ridiculous smack. For whatever reason, someone made a comment I initially found absurd.
“Tony Parker is flat out better than Steve Nash.”
No doubt, the little Frenchy has been playing out of his mind all series – I said he would, I warned you all. But to say he’s a better point guard than two-time MVP Steve Nash? Preposterous. Or so I thought anyway.
Look I’m not going to throw any numbers at you, that wouldn’t serve either side’s argument. Suffice to say Nash is a far superior shooter than Parker, is a better assist man, and has intangibles and playmaking ability Parker will likely never have. Understand, I’m on Nash’s side in this one. Or, at least I was.
I kept trying to use all the stats and awards to prove Nash was better, and in certain respects I was absolutely right. But I couldn’t counter one argument…
“Parker is winning.”
In three games on the floor together, Parker trumps Nash. That’s not to say TP has the accolades or experience of Nash, but that is to say that when you put their respective teams head to head, Parker wins. Parker is single handedly shaping the fate of this series in favor of the Spurs, while Nash seems unable to do the same for this Suns. Last night while Parker was having one of the best games we’ve seen this postseason, Nash was struggling, shooting only 3-8 for seven points.
Don’t get me wrong, everything logical in me says Nash is the better point guard. But if that’s the case, why isn’t he playing like it? Why is Parker the one shaping the fate of the series? Why doesn’t Nash will his team to victory? Why is Parker out playing him?
Nash is better against everybody else, but head to head, when his team needs him the most, he can’t beat Tony Parker, and that has to be of concern for Suns fans (and Nash fans) everywhere.
Tony Parker isn’t better than Steve Nash, not exactly. Parker’s better is better than Nash’s better.
Great players are defined in head to head match-ups, particularly in the postseason. As great as Nash is, he should be doing more, he should be beating Parker at least individually, but he’s not – he can’t.
What does that mean exactly? It means the Spurs are going to sweep.