Well, last week I wrote Tony Parker needed to take his game to another level, and not saying he read me, but he certainly showed another level in France’s stunning EuroBasket win over the tournament favorite Spain team. They are so loaded Ricky Rubio spent all of crunch time on the bench.
It was an ugly game in the first half, with Spain leading the way, but the game ultimately went to an even uglier overtime period dominated by missed baskets and fouls. The French defense was key in this one, because they did not hit one three pointer in the first half and finished the game with nine.
“We looked at the score and we realised that we can win this game, the score was very low,” France captain Boris Diaw said. “Our defence was not bad, we had held Spain, which is a great offensive team, to 34 points so we knew we had to be better offensively. Why we couldn’t score? Because we were not aggressive enough, we let them push us around and we had to react, play hard and be tougher in the second half.”
Diaw ended up being so aggressive that he fouled out, but the story of the game was Parker who has proven himself to be the best player in the tournament. He led France in scoring the last two games over talented counterparts Goran Dragic and this time Marc Gasol. Parker was magnificent in all aspects of the game. His game-high 32 points made him the second-leading scorer in the history of EuroBasket only behind Dirk Nowitzki. Pretty legendary company.
Expect Parker to close this all out in the EuroBasket final capping an impressive FIBA performance by the San Antonio Spurs floor general.