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2008, December 5: ESPN.com Daily Dime – As Usual, San Antonio Planning For the Future

January 5, 2009

 Gregg Popovich coaches the regular season in order to get ready for the postseason. He coaches for the bigger picture. They had some injuries and that is why you see guys like George Hill and Roger Mason getting big minutes, which is something that is going to strengthen the team down the road.

Mason is my leading candidate for the league's Most Improved Player award. He helped keep them going when Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were out, and there are a lot of opponents who are wishing they had buried the Spurs when they had the chance. Now, those two are healthy, Hill and Mason got experience, and the Spurs were able to stay above .500.

I'm a big Chris Paul fan, and he should definitely be in the argument when talking about best point guards in the game, but to me, Parker is the best point guard playing. He plays in a situation where it's all about the pot of gold at the end. It's all about the title for him. His statistics might not be 20 and 10 on a nightly basis, but that is because he plays with two other superstars. One thing about being a good teammate is the unselfishness to let others make plays. You have to do that in order for your team to be a championship contender. I've always respected that about his game. Paul is the most talented point guard in the game, but Parker is the best point guard.

Jalen Rose is an NBA analyst for ESPN and a regular Daily Dime contributor.