During the past 12 months, it is fair to say few on the planet have played more basketball than Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Parker followed a run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals by taking Team France to the EuroBasket championship, then returned stateside to crank up the entire machine again in October. That is a lot of miles to put on a pair of 31-year-old legs in a short amount of time. And if Parker has finally hit a wall three months into his 12th NBA season, nobody would blame him. “I keep looking at him because he had a long summer,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “We really depend on him for scoring and setting people up and that sort of thing. And he really hasn't shown any signs (of fatigue).” Through 33 games, however, Parker hasn't quite reached the dizzying heights that typified his 2012-13 campaign, when he earned a second straight second-team All-NBA mention and found himself on the fringes of the Most Valuable Player debate. Heading into Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers and point-guard maestro Chris Paul, Parker is averaging 17.8 points and 6.1 assists while shooting 49.9 percent from the field. Those are still All-Star caliber numbers but slightly off the pace Parker set last season, when he tallied 20.8 points, 7.6 assists and hit 52.2 percent of his shots. “Last year, he had a hell of a season, an MVP season,” guard Danny Green said. “It's hard to match or top. He's playing well, but not like he was playing last year, like the Tony we know he can play like.” Whatever the reason for Parker's quiet backslide, he refuses to use his busy summer as an excuse. Nor will he blame the shin contusion that cost him two games in December. “I'm OK — a little banged up, but I'm all right,” Parker said. “From the summer, I don't feel anything so far.” NBA player tracking data seems to support Parker's assertion.
Spurs' Parker not fatigued, but not the same
San Antonio Express-News | Jan 4