Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/18/14

FOR SPORTS - Spurs' Tony Parker walks off the court after the Western Conference Playoffs First Round Game 1 against the Mavericks Saturday April 18, 2009 at the AT&T Center. The Mavericks won 105-97 Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

For many years, there was one name the opponents of the San Antonio Spurs had to worry about: Tim Duncan. He used to be the main focus of the opposing defense every possession. Now with Duncan being older, he's not the weapon the rest of the NBA should solely about on the team and Jacque Vaughn knows it. Vaughn praised Parker after the Spurs defeated his Orlando Magic on Wednesday night in an Orlando Sentinel piece and said that slowing Parker down is how you beat the Spurs. Is he right? Is Tony Parker what Tim Duncan used to be for San Antonio? Some might say yes. They'll cite how the Oklahoma City Thunder successfully slowed down Parker by putting their shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and it cost the Spurs four games in a row during the Western Conference Finals. It's exactly the same team with the exception of rookie Nando De Colo joining the team. I'll agree and disagree with Vaughn on this one. I do think it's important to slow down Parker because he's one of the top 3 players on the team. I'll disagree with him on slowing down Parker being the only factor. This is the same team as last year core wise, but it has more chemistry than it did last season. The Spurs signed Boris Diaw and Patty Mills while trading for Stephen Jackson during the end of the season. They still won games, but it was mostly on runs where they were hitting shots and playing well.  When the team couldn't score and went into droughts, they didn't know how to respond, who to go to, or who would take over because they didn't know how the newer players would respond in a new offensive system. This year is different. Everyone went through a training camp and everyone is comfortable alongside each other. Last year's acquisitions now know who can do what and if they will do it when it counts. There's no Big 1 on the Spurs or a “One Player Is Everything” motto in the locker room, there's a Big 3 and for the group “Team Is Everything” is what they believe in. Don't get me wrong, Parker is a huge piece to the Spurs' success but he's not the only piece. Tim Duncan has shown he can still have flashes of his youth on the court and Manu Ginobili has shown he still plays with passion (and still contorting his body to score points). The team has the reliable core with new developing pieces. Boris Diaw is more comfortable on the court with the team while Stephen Jackson is more confident coming off the bench and showing his leadership. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have vastly improved on defense while Leonard has picked up his offensive game quite a bit since one year ago. If you contain Parker, there's more weapons and Parker's helped his teammates with that by developing a three pointer. If Vaughn thinks containing Parker is the only key, he'll be in for a rude awakening when one of the many other weapons step up against his team in the next meeting.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.