Tony Parker spun into the paint at the Barclays Center on Sunday night for what felt like the 100th time in the third quarter alone, Deron Williams gasping in his wake.
Pirouetting toward the rim, the Spurs point guard blindly lofted a perfect rainbow just over the outstretched arms of Kris Humphries that found the bottom of the net as if guided by homing device.
A crowd of 17,014 mostly hardscrabble Brooklyners, presumably Nets fans watching their team get taken apart in the Spurs’ 111-86 victory, ooohed in appreciation.
“I guess there were a lot of French people in the crowd tonight,” Parker said with a grin. “Paris is not too far from New York.”
Perhaps it is high time the domestic basketball fan takes notice of what Parker is doing with the Spurs.
A few more nights like Sunday ought to do the trick. That’s because Parker, on national TV, in New York City, with the Spurs still without All-Star forward Tim Duncan and super sub Manu Ginobili, engineered a smackdown of the playoff-aspiring Nets.
The Spurs’ lone healthy All-Star threw in 29 points, handed out 11 assists and had no turnovers, playing Sherpa to his team’s 12th victory in the last 13 outings. Behind Parker, the Spurs won — handily — despite trailing by as many as 12 points and not taking their first lead until the third quarter.
“I don’t think there’s anybody in the league playing better than he is,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s beyond All-Star.”
Popovich went on, throwing Parker into the mix for league Most Valuable Player. The 30-year-old was fifth in the balloting last season, the highest finish of his career.
Helping Popovich’s argument: Duncan and Ginobili have been available together for 12 minutes and 29 seconds of a three-week stretch during which the Spurs finished 12-1.
“I think he should be in every conversation for any award that’s going to be given,” Popovich said.
Parker Show draws rave reviews
San Antonio Express-News | Feb 11