It seems like the San Antonio Spurs have a knack for proving the doubters wrong and continue to do so at a successful rate. Their 2-0 lead in the series against the Portland Trail Blazers has not been the expected result, especially considering the performances exhibited by each team in their previous series. But in the two games, there has been a consistent theme that has allowed the Spurs to utilize their home-court advantage.
Before this series began, all the talk was aimed at the arrival of a new superstar in Damian Lillard after his amazing series-winning 3-pointer that sent the Houston Rockets fishing for the summer. But the premature praise of the second-year guard was a mistake that many have made multiple times in the past, especially against Tony Parker and the Spurs.
Parker has demonstrated the reason why Lillard has not arrived as a superstar in the NBA, and why the Parker should still be considered as one of the best point guard the league today. Obviously, his three championships should automatically put him above the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, but Parker’s abilities are continually downplayed.
Numbers never lie, and this is the case so far in this old-school vs. new-school PG matchup. During the regular season, Lillard averaged 25.5 PPG against the Spurs, but has only been able to muster up 36 total points in the series’ first two games. While Lillard has struggled to find a rhythm offensively, Parker has asserted himself into the paint at will.
His array of pump-fakes, pull-up jumpers and acrobatic finishes at the rim have allowed Parker to average 24.5 points per game so far. And let’s not even mention the 19 total assists for Parker that has allowed his teammates to get involved in the action. The Spurs have the formula for winning and the secret ingredient in their smooth but deadly point guard. As long as he keeps rolling, there is no chance for the Blazers this season.