There’s no chance Tony Parker ever gets to win the NBA MVP award. The San Antonio Spurs point guard simply isn’t good enough on a season-long basis to overcome names like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but he’s playing his best basketball once again this season, with or without Tim Duncan.
You expect the Spurs to struggle a bit with Duncan not playing in their last five games; well, luckily, they have a deep squad, an easy schedule in the last couple of weeks and Tony Parker at his best.
How good has Parker been as the Spurs improved to 38-11, snatching the best record in the NBA from the Oklahoma City Thunder? Over the last five games, which have been about beating the Hornets, Mavericks, Suns, Bobcats and Wizards, Parker has averaged 23.8 points, 9.8 assists while shooting 65.8% from the field. Not too far from how good Derrick Rose was when he won the MVP in the 2010-2011 NBA season, but there’s no hated contender Parker is running against, and his season numbers of 20.1 points and 7.6 assists per game aren’t what you usually consider MVP’ish.
There have been cases in the past – Steve Nash didn’t post the best numbers in the NBA when he won two back-to-back MVP awards. If the Spurs do finish with the best record in the NBA Parker should definitely be among the final names mentioned; he deserves, as of now, to be named to the All-NBA first team for the first time in his career and mentioned more than once when people talk about outsiders with a shot at the MVP.
He’s been playing like the best point guard in the league this season – better than Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, better than Rajon Rondo and Stephen Curry, and on par with Kyrie Irving, but when your team is out of the playoff running, there’s not much you can hope for when it comes to individual awards.
But that’s not enough for MVP of the NBA. For the Spurs? There’s no one more deserving. Tony Parker is the main reason, on the floor, that the Spurs continue to be this good, this competitive, for the past few years, while two of their big three keep aging and the crew around them keeps shuffling without anyone emerging as a true star. For the NBA? Despite all of the sympathy towards Parker, there are simply better players.