No one is expecting Tony Parker to average 20 points a game or dish out double digit assists, but as a starter for a championship contender he is expected to contribute to the game in some capacity. The point guard position is too valuable, particularly in the Western Conference, for him to be a non-factor in almost every category. The Spurs hope that after two solid games that this Game 3 misstep was abnormal.
2) Patty Mills Ball Handling:
Mills is definitely a better shooter than Parker beyond the arc but his ability to get in the paint and dish is still questionable. Parker is still the best guard, even at his age, for the job on the Spurs and when he is clicking the Spurs are a different team--a better team. Mills when Parker plays well just has to focus on shooting the ball versus coming in early to try and create for his teammates. Parker’s great play or lack there of changes the roles of all his teammates.
1) Big Picture/Long-term:
Can the Spurs get past the Golden State Warriors with only ONE perimeter player playing well? If the Spurs are having trouble containing Michael Conley what will they do with Steph Curry? Often Curry is “hidden” on a stand-still player on the defensive end but if Parker makes a habit of poor play (which remains to be seen to be fair) will Curry guard him? Will he be able to put some kind of pressure on the defenses of the elite teams? Parker is so important to this team’s success that it is safe to say...no contributing Parker--no chance.