The matchup for tonight's game will be between Greivis Vasquez of the New Orleans Hornets and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.
This is the fourth of four games that these two teams will play against each other in which the Spurs lead the season series 2-1. We saw Vasquez and his Hornets come alive against the Spurs with him scoring 14 points and dishing out 11 assists. Parker scored 16 points but his 5 turnovers didn't help the Spurs and that helped earn him a -16 for the game. The Spurs will be fired up with the signing of Aussie Aron Baynes and will be sitting out their starting power forward in Tim Duncan, so that'll force Parker to continue to shoulder the burden.
What Parker must do on offense:
Without Tim Duncan on the floor, Parker has to get int he paint and other teammates involved early in the offense. He can use Tiago Splitter or Boris Diaw in early pick and rolls which would force New Orleans' bigs to come out to the perimeter. His mid range jumper will be key tonight. If he can make that shot, the Hornets will be forced to shuffle with rotations on defense. If he can't, they'll likely camp out in the paint and dare the Spurs to shoot all night.
What Parker must do on defense:
He has to contain Vasquez's points or assists. If Vasquez becomes a one dimensional player, the offense will likely struggle. He shot 6-10 against the Spurs last game while involving his teammates. The Spurs and Parker must force him to either take up the primary scorer role or not look for his offense at all and stopping everyone else. He's not afraid to take a shot, so it'll likely fall on the other Spurs to stop their player and have Vasquez try his luck on his own. He's shooting 45% or better in every area on the court with the exception on the wing (37%), so it'll be wise for the Spurs to keep him out there and chase him around every other spot to try to stop him.