- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
- ISTOOK: IRS “wants to throw us in jail,” says tea party leader
- Easter woes: Chocolate costs soar, becoming ‘unaffordable’ luxury
Parker’s evolution lifts Spurs back to Finals
A few years ago, that might not have happened.
Several summers ago, the Spurs were trying to sign Jason Kidd, which in some circles was incorrectly perceived as Popovich deciding that he no longer wanted to have Parker around. That couldn’t have been more wrong, since what the Spurs were actually thinking was that a veteran like Kidd would have been the perfect mentor for Parker as he was continuing to mature and learn the NBA game.
Even in a year where Tim Duncan was able to turn back the clock and post one of the best seasons in his long career, Parker is probably the biggest reason why the Spurs are in the NBA Finals for the fifth time. And he’ll be the focal point of the Miami Heat defensive gameplan on Thursday night, when the teams get together for Game 1 of the title series.
“It seemed to me that it would be a great move if we could get Jason to help mentor Tony,” Popovich said. “My illustrious NBA career ended after a week and a half. So what the hell am I going to teach him about being a point guard? … Tony did not love that idea at all. But we still tried to do it.”
He’s averaging 23 points and 7.2 assists in these playoffs, playing at even a higher level than he did during an outstanding regular season, and is coming off a Western Conference finals performance against Memphis in which he shot 26 for 43 and averaged 31.5 points in the Spurs‘ two road wins that finished off a four-game sweep of the Grizzlies.
“Against Miami, it’s the last step,” Parker said. “It’s going to be the hardest one, because winning a championship is very hard. Especially against a very good team in and LeBron, four-time MVP, it’s going to be really tough. But it’s a great opportunity for us to try to beat them.”
They may have James guard him at times.
Mario Chalmers will start off against Parker, but if the Heat want a different look or if their starting point guard gets into foul trouble, Miami will not hesitate to give James a chance to guard the Spurs‘ star. After all, Miami calls James “One through five” for a reason, a nod to how he can guard all five positions on the court.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” Chalmers said of the assignment against Parker. “It’ll be a matchup with one of the great point guards in the game right now and it’s going to be my job to contain him.”
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act then promotes on Twitter
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- BRUCE: Obama deliberately emboldening America's enemies
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Critics rail against liberal bias for commencement speakers
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.