When it comes to naming the best point guards in this era of the NBA, the usuals are Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Jason Kidd, and Chris Paul. Yet time and time again, San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker tends to be mentioned a notch below despite owning three NBA championship rings, and an NBA Finals MVP trophy.
However, last season Parker had a career year, receiving NBA MVP recognition after posting 18.3 points, 7.7 assists, and 2.9 rebounds and leading the team to the Western Conference Finals.
And this season is no different. Parker is picking up where he left off posting 13.6 points, 7.6 assists and averaging a 3.31 assist-to-turnover ratio good for eighth in the league.
Parker's numbers are solid considering Tim Duncan is playing at a high level early in this season where Parker doesn't have to shoulder much of the load for San Antonio.
Last night, Parker faced Knicks point guard Raymond Felton, who led New York to a rare win in San Antonio with 25 points, and finished with 19 points, 12 assists, and zero turnovers. And it is this performance that makes Felton consider Parker one of the best at his position.
"Great point guard. One of the best point guards in the league in my opinion," said Felton. "He's extremely quick, gets his team involved. He's been in this (Spurs') system for so long and he knows it like the back of his hand. Tony is one of the best point guards in the league. He's a tough matchup every night. Very tough."
The Spurs will need Parker to be a tough matchup for opposing teams throughout this NBA season. Duncan is playing well but he will need to rest throughout this marathon of an NBA season and Manu Ginobili has been dealing with back issues early in the season.
It will be up to the youngest of the "Big 3" to steady the ship if the Spurs want to have a chance at making it back to the Western Conference Finals and beyond.
And Parker will have to continue to be that tough matchup again this Saturday when he will face Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson.