I was going to write a piece about similarities between Tony Parker and Jeremy Lin when Tony Parker was a young player, but I just saw that Ultimate Rockets wrote a nice piece on it. A lot of people compare Lin to Nash, but I never thought that was an accurate comparison, because Lin is more of a scorer and more of a driver than Nash is. I think Tony Parker is much closer to Lin and I remember when Tony Parker used to be pretty much a nobody Point Guard. Now he’s one of the greats. This article says a lot of things I wanted to say about Parker and Lin:
Of all the NBA point guards Jeremy Lin has studied, there are few he emulates quite as much as Spurs guard Tony Parker. The Rockets can only hope he can mimic Parker’s growth as well as he has so far.
Through 83 career games, Lin has made 42.1 percent of his shots, averaging 9.4 points per game, in an average of 22.1 minutes per game. Through 83 career games, Parker made 42.1 percent of his shots, averaging 10.2 points per game in an average of 31.7 minutes.
Both began their careers overlooked, though Parker was a late first-round pick. Both had explosive first steps off the dribble. Both had shaky outside shots that led opposing teams to attempt to clog the lane to force them to shoot from the perimeter.
As with any comparison, there might be more differences than similarities, even if comparing Lin to Parker of a decade ago. But at least an informed observer of both thought Lin will develop in the ways Parker did.
“His shot will come,” Parker said. “Me too. I couldn’t hit a shot at the beginning of my career. I was still able to go to the basket. His shot will improve. It will help, definitely, his game. Definitely. When I start making the outside jumper on a consistent basis, that’s when I was more consistent with my performance.”
Lin was not about to compare himself to a point guard he called “elite”, but he did consider Parker a role model for a variety of reasons.
“Just creating space, changing directions, using angles, floaters, his creativity in the lane,” Lin said. “He’s exceptional with his footwork. There’s a lot of things he does that people take for granted for how good he is.
“I think he’s an elite point guard and someone I want to aspire to be in terms of how he leads his team to how he pushes the ball and makes plays.”
When Parker began his career, however, he struggled with the balance between playmaking and scoring. Through 83 games, he averaged 4.7 assists. Playing about eight fewer minutes per game, Lin is averaging 4.5 assists in his career so far.
“It’s his first full year,” Parker said. “There is a lot of attention on him. I think you have to be patient with his growth. When I first came into the league, I was a little raw. I was very aggressive. At the same time, I had to learn the point guard position and when to score, when to pass and try to find that happy middle, find the balance. I think Jeremy Lin is at that point.
“He’s trying to find his position on the team. And he needs to fit with another guy who is very aggressive with James Harden. I had to do the same thing when I had Manu Ginobili being super aggressive. You have to find your spots. He will.”