San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker had an awesome finish to Wednesday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks, as the Spurs took a 3-2 lead in the playoff match-up.
The Spurs are now on the verge of getting through to the second round of the NBA playoffs, and one of the main reasons for that is the play of Parker.
Despite having a sprain ankle, he came up with ten points in the first quarter and he played strong late on, with performance yet again posing the question of whether or not he is the most clutch player in the NBA?
You only have to type 'Tony Parker clutch' into Google and you find an array of plays from the Frenchman late in games.
Obviously this isn't the barometer by which the clutch question is answered. More detail is needed for that, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
You only have to type 'LeBron James clutch' into Google to find all of the articles that dispel that and suggest that the four-time league MVP can choke on occasions.
Now every player during their career will suffer choking moments and come up big plays in high pressure moments. It's just about how many times they end up on one side of the coin to the other that will define whether or not they are strong during clutch moments.
The best barometer of whether or not a player can handle the pressure of big games is by comparing their stats during the regular to their stats during the playoffs.
Players with the big game mentality tend to improve in the post-season, and that's exactly what Parker does.
During the regular season, Parker has averaged 17.1 points per game, while in the post-season he has averaged 19 points per game.
Skip Bayless might not be everyone's favorite analyst, but he insists that he would 'want Parker taking the final shot' for his team.
If we are to define clutch as the who you want to take that final shot to win or tie the game, Parker is definitely up there.
How many times have you heard the announcer during the a Spurs game go 'that's only Parker's second three-pointer of the game' just after he makes a basket late on?
He may not be the best shooter over the course of game and the season, but when things get tight and intense he is the man to go to. And for that we believe he is the best point guard in the league during clutch moments.
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