France national team head coach Vincent Collet has been relying a lot on San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker to run their offense and lead the French offensive attack.
In their last game prior to the 2011 EuroBasket quarter final round, Collet chose to sit Parker to give his French superstar some much needed rest.
In a recent interview with FIBA, the coach was asked what move will he do in case something happens to Parker (fingers crossed) in the tournament.
“So far I have been going to Nando De Colo to replace Tony because he has been doing a good job and I think he is playing better now that he has had some minutes at the point guard position because he likes to run the ball so the position suits him.”
Those are encouraging words for De Colo and should give him more confidence when he plays on the court.
In eight games at Eurobasket, the Spurs draftee is averaging 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 43.9 percent from the field in 16 minutes per game. On top of that he is also a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line.
Not eye-popping numbers, but its pretty solid considering his primary role is to play backup to Parker.
However, De Colo have some glaring areas in his game that he needs to improve.
He has to take care of the ball a lot better. In eight games, he managed to dish out just six assists while committing a total of 12 turnovers.
Also, De Colo needs to sharpen his shooting skills from beyond the arc.
His 43.9 percent field goal shooting is respectable, and his 53.3 percent shooting on two-point shots is even more better.
Nonetheless, his 3-point field goal percentage is a woeful 18.2 percent (2-0f-11) in the tournament so far.
In all fairness, these are not De Colo’s career averages but it gave us a glimpse on his habits and how he plays against tough competition.
Having said that, I certainly believe that the French play-maker will become a better player under a system like the Spurs.
With George Hill being traded, and third string point guard Chris Quinn opting to play in Russia, the Spurs have Parker at point guard and little else.
Sure, rookie Cory Joseph gives some promise and could probably turn into a good backup for Tony, but adding another guard in De Colo’s caliber in San Antonio’s backcourt rotation wouldn’t hurt.
What do you guys think? Should the Spurs give De Colo a shot when the NBA lockout is lifted? Share us your thoughts.