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Sunday NBA grades: If Tony Parker is getting to the rim, you’re in trouble

May 5, 2014, 12:16 AM EDT

Tony Parker Tony Parker

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while finally getting to play Pac-Man in Marshfield, Mass….

source:  Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs. It all started with the Spurs defense. Gregg Popovich adapted his offense over the years to let Tony Parker lead it (he borrowed a lot from Mike D’Antoni) and part of that is to let Parker push the ball up and attack the defense early in the clock before it gets set. Let him improvise. Parker did that on Sunday and from the start and just carved up the Mavericks defense. He was getting to the rim at the start of the game, broke Dallas down and they never recovered. Of course, he was getting to the rim when the Mavs were set, too. Parker finished with 32 and the Spurs looked like contenders again.

source:  Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets. It’s unfortunate that Joe Johnson’s middle name seems to be “worst contract in the NBA” — it’s mentioned every time he is, it seems — because lost in that is the fact the guy can flat out play. Paul Pierce gets the highlights and headlines with the block, Kevin Garnett did his thing, but Johnson was the best Net player Sunday. He had 11 points straight points in the fourth quarter holding off the Raptors run for a while. Simply, the Nets are home for the summer without him.

source:   Toronto Raptors fans. The fans in Toronto were absolutely amazing… gathering by the thousands outside the arena (something American arenas can’t do anymore because there are always fights/problems). I wanted the Raptors to win for them… and those came so close to getting to see one of the best comebacks in years. Still, the good news is this felt like a year you can build on.

  1. antistratfordian - May 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    That’s what she said.

  2. Kevin S. - May 5, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    canadatude: F-. I would have thought he’d have at least come in to whine about the refs, but it appears he’s done what he accused me of and disappeared after a loss. That’s weak sauce trolling, bro.

  3. seattlesuperchronic - May 5, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    “gathering by the thousands outside the arena (something American arenas can’t do anymore because there are always fights/problems).”

    That hodgepodge of words makes me cringe. Taking a shot at your own country to shamelessly slurp another is awful.

    Do you remember when Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup finals in 2011? I know it was almost a whopping three years ago, but how was that for your peaceful Canadian demeanor? 140 injuries and $5,000,000 worth of property damage. Don’t let the facts stand in your way, buddy. There’s fans to be won.

    Every country has their knuckleheads. People do stupid stuff, everywhere.

    But hey, at least the few Canadians that read this article will think you’re peachy keen, eh?

  4. newyorkball82 - May 5, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    One thing I will say to the fans who were in the arenas credit, they all stayed until the end and after and gave their team praise and applause. They weren’t (from what I seen) running for the exits. I was surprised to see such support for an NBA team from Canada. It was a good series and I think that Toronto would have gone 0 and 4 in the next round, so I would caulk it up to a successful season for them.

  5. eagles512 - May 5, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I agree with Seattle on this. I don’t see what that can’t happen in a US city. And the Vancouver riots were worse than anything in the US recently.

  6. sportsfan18 - May 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    It isn’t Johnson’s fault he got that huge contract. It’s the executives fault for giving it to him.

    ANY of us would sign a huge guaranteed contract like that.

    But, Johnson’s career PER is only 16.2 and the league average is 15.0

    NO player who is just a tad better than league average should ever be signed to a MAX contract…

    He’s never had a season with a PER of 20. Twice he topped 19.

    He’s had 4 seasons with a PER below the league average of 15 as well.

    Those with Similarity scores to Joe Johnson are Reggie Theus, Mark Jackson, Rolando Blackman and Bryron Scott.

    All those guys were good players but they were NOT MAX players just as Johnson should never have been one…

    Again, that’s on the team for giving him that contract, NOT on him for signing it…

    IF the writers who mention this in articles each time were to be honest about it, they should be criticizing the team and the executives who gave him the contract rather than Johnson himself…

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