On Tony Parker’s 42-point night

It may have been a great night for San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker. But for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Parker was a bane in their lives for 48 minutes.

Parker scored a whopping 42 points in Saturday’s Spurs win over the Thunder. The same Thunder team that is 8-1 when holding opponents to less than 40 percent shooting, that boasts one of the better shot blockers in the league in Serge Ibaka and that, for a stretch of games this season, had not allowed a single opponent to shoot 50 percent or better.

But for as much as one can point to lackadaisical Thunder defense, credit Parker for upping his game against the West’s best. Especially since San Antonio has been without its star, Manu Ginobili.

So how did Parker do it? How did Parker not only manage to score on one of the better defensive teams, but also make a huge case why he should be named to the 2012 All-Star Game? He got into the teeth of Oklahoma City’s interior defense.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it is plain to see where Parker did most of his damage (via cbssports.com).

Parker has always been known to get into the paint but this is just ridiculous.

Most of his 42 points came in the paint and this does not say much for the defense of Russell Westbrook. Breaking it down further, according to HoopData, Parker was 3 for 6 at the rim, 6 for 8 from three to nine feet, and 5 for 8 from 10 to 15 feet of the rim.

Say what you will about Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Chris Paul and the other notable point guards in the NBA, but Parker has never been mentioned with regularity among the best point guards in the league. And it is a shame. He owns an NBA resume that many of the current crop of point guards would love to own. Yet, just because he plays in a small market, he does not get the respect he deserves.

But for one night, and against one of the best point guards in the league, he reminded the NBA of what he can do without one of the Spurs’ stars and with a past-his-prime Tim Duncan.