The reigning Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs are only one victory away from returning to that familiar stage where they have seen so much success. As they prepare for battle against the Portland Trail Blazers, they must continue to ride the wave that Tony Parker has been on this series.
The Spurs’ offense has been lights-out since they were pushed to the brink of elimination against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. In the playoffs this year, the Spurs are averaging 116 points per game while shooting an astonishing 45 percent from beyond the arc. The reason for this offensive onslaught is Parker’s recent play.
The Spurs’ point guard has been noticeably aggressive in his decision-making and scoring pursuit. Parker has totaled 63 shot attempts through three games, which is 26 more than the next highest shot total from Tim Duncan. Parker is averaging 26 PPG against the Blazers, and the constant attack off the pick and roll is too much for Portland’s soft defense to handle.
The direct result of Parker’s willingness to score is the opportunity he has created for his teammates. Duncan has been able to score with little to no effort because of the high-post jumper that Parker creates for him off the screen action, and shooters like Danny Green just have to find the open spot to benefit from the high level of offensive execution.
It is not a secret that Parker is the driving force of the Spurs’ offense. For the most part, they go as he goes and as long as he can keep it going, the Spurs will continue to win with mechanical efficiency. It is only a matter of time before the Blazers grab their fishing rods and take an early summer vacation. If Parker is able to continue his offensive assault, Portland’s vacation will begin tonight.