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Is Parker the NBA's elite point guard?

5/29/2013
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

In the Western Conference Finals against the Memphis Grizzlies, Tony Parker averaged 24.5 points per game, 9.5 assists and two steals while shooting 53.2 percent from the field. That's pretty impressive, considering the Grizzlies had the second-best defense during the regular season.

The series was highlighted by Parker’s career-high 18 assists in Game 2 and then in the series-clinching Game 4 Parker was 15-21 (71.4 percent) for 37 points to advance the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA Finals.

Parker has two games in the last five postseasons of at least 35 points and 70 percent shooting, and is the only point guard to have two of those games during that span.

Parker has led his team to the NBA Finals for the fourth time in his career. With his consistent success in the regular season, and especially in the postseason, you can make the case that he’s the best point guard in the NBA.

Consistent Winner

Since Parker made his NBA debut in 2001-02, he’s won three NBA championships and was named Finals MVP in 2006-07. Since 1990, Isiah Thomas, Chauncey Billups and Parker are the only point guards to win the Finals MVP.

Tony Parker vs Hall-of-Fame Point Guards - Regular Season and Playoffs

Parker has also led the Spurs in scoring and assists for three consecutive seasons and five of the last eight seasons.

What's more, Parker has won 70 percent of the games he’s played in, including the playoffs, the best winning percentage among point guards during that span.

Scoring with the Best

Parker was tied with Chris Paul and Stephen Curry among point guards with 1.03 points per play (PPP) this season. What separated him was that he scored on 50.4 percent of his plays, which ranked him third behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant among perimeter players.

Parker’s Strengths

• Parker led the NBA in scoring off pick and rolls this season, with an average of 8.5 points per game.

• On pick and rolls which included Parker’s passes, he averaged 1.03 points per play, which ranked him third this season behind Paul and James.

• Parker led all NBA point guards this season with a 10.1 points per game average in the paint.

• In the Western Conference Finals, Parker drove to the basket 61 times in the half court and created 76 points for the Spurs. Parker had 17 assists when driving to the basket, and his teammates were 17-31 (54.8 percent) on those plays, including 9-16 (56.3 percent) on 3-point field goals.

The Spurs outscore their opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions when Parker is on the court but that drops to 2.2 points per 100 possessions when he’s off. That difference of 8.5 points per 100 possessions was more than Paul, Curry, Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams this season.