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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: GRIZZLIES v SPURS

May 22, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Tony Parker

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day


  TONY PARKER:  From last year's series to this year, we seem to have benefitted, playing with a lot more confidence, guys like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, Corey Joseph, they're all playing great basketball, and we all know if you want to go far in the Playoffs, if you want to go all the way to the title, your bench and your role players, they have to play great, too.

Q.  And for those guys who aren't necessarily the stars or have the experience that you guys have, to not get down when Memphis goes on a big run ?? TONY PARKER:  We knew they were going to make a run.  They're a very, very good team.  They're not in the Conference Finals for nothing.  They're a good team.  They have the best defense in the NBA, and when you play defense, you always have a chance to come back in games.  So that's what they did, and they had a great run.  They forced us into overtime, so we were lucky enough to get the win, and we realize that it's going to be even harder in Memphis.  They're a team that plays very well at home.

Q.  Pop said before when you first got here they tried to push you more towards being like John Stockton, setting people up.  Was that what you did last night? TONY PARKER:  No, Tony Parker.  I just try to do both.  I don't want to be anybody, I just want to have my own identity, and I always fight with Pop for that because he wants me to be?? no disrespect to Avery Johnson, but Avery and then John, and I was like, I want to be me and I want to do both and I want to be aggressive, and I just try to find that balance.  That's the thing through my whole career is to find the happy middle between scoring and passing, and I think as the years went by I'm getting better and better passing the ball. It's a mix of more plays, too.  Every play is going through me now.  I have the ball more now, so obviously I can have more opportunities to have assists. But I think obviously I'm improving, too, every year.

Q.  Were you saying this is going to be a game where I'm setting guys up? TONY PARKER:  Not really.  It just happened.  That's another part of my game, I just try to be patient and take what they give me, and they're in the paint, they're trapping me on the pick?and?rolls, so I have to trust my teammates.  My teammates, man, they were making shots.  They were great last night.  Danny, Kawhi, Tiago, Timmy, everybody was great last night.

Q.  How tired were you in the fourth last night? TONY PARKER:  Yeah, in the fourth quarter the last six minutes I was definitely tired.  Pop knew it.  I think all the minutes against Golden State and the first two games was wearing down on me because I have to play defense on Conley chasing all the pick?and?rolls and then be the generator on offense for everybody.  So I was a little bit tired. But it happens to everybody, and I just have to try to be more patient maybe when I'm tired like that.  We talked with Pop, we'll watch film and find some ways that I can rest and choose when I rest.  But those three days arrived at a perfect time for me, so I'm definitely going to use them wisely, and I'll be ready to go for Saturday.

Q.  How is the calf? TONY PARKER:  Calf is doing better.  Doing an MRI tomorrow just to make sure because it was a pretty big one, by far the biggest one I ever had, and it definitely limited me the last two games against Golden State and those two games, but slowly and surely I'm turning the corner, so hopefully I'll be fine.

Q.  Does anybody have to bring up 2?0 against Oklahoma City last year at this point? TONY PARKER:  No, we understand.  We understand that we didn't do anything, we just protected home court, and we have a long way to go because we know we're playing a very good team.  People know basketball, they know they're a very good team and you can't take anything for granted.  It's going to be a war over there.


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