The Spurs might have lost the NBA Finals in 7 hard games last night, but they showed the heart of a champion once again. The Spurs won the Southwest Division this year by 2 games over the Memphis Grizzlies. They then went a very impressive 15-6 (71.4%) in the post-season. Here is a look at the players that made the biggest impacts for the Spurs last year in my opinion:
TEAM MVP: Tony Parker – 31-year old point guard Tony Parker is the youngest player of the Spurs’ version of the Big Three (Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili) and he played the best of that trio during the regular season. Parker played in 66 games (all starts) for the Spurs last year and he averaged 32.9 minutes, 20.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game. Parker shot a very impressive 52.2% from the floor last year, which is amazingly good for a point guard. Parker had 17 double-doubles and 1 triple-double last year for the Spurs. Parker scored at last 20 points in 40 games last year. He also had 5 or more rebounds 10 times, 10 or more assists 17 times and he had 33 games with at least 1 steal.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Tiago Splitter – 28-year old center Tiago Splitter stepped up his game in the regular season for the Spurs in 2012-13. He played in 81 games (58 starts) for the Spurs last year and he averaged 24.7 minutes, 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Splitter had 11 double-doubles last year for he Spurs. Splitter had 49 games in which he scored 10 or more points last year. He also had 15 games with 10 or more rebounds and 5 games with at least 3 blocked shots last year.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Stephen Jackson – 35-year old SG/SF Stephen Jackson was cut late in the year due to his off year. Jackson played in 55 games (6 starts) for the Spurs last year and he averaged 19.5 minutes, 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Jackson only shot 37.3% from the floor and 27.1% from three point range last year, which was pretty awful. Jackson wasn’t good enough to stick around for the playoffs in the eyes of head coach Gregg Popovich.