Spurs' Parker ready for whatever Jazz may throw at him
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker isn't sure if the Utah Jazz will kidnap him before Game 2 tips off, as teammate Stephen Jackson jokingly suggested the underdogs' best defensive option might be.
Parker didn't hire Jean-Claude Van Damme or any other bodyguards just in case.
But the Spurs' star point guard expects the Jazz to try about everything aside from taking him prisoner (and maybe stashing him in the Alamo's basement?).
Parker anticipates, as Jazz point guard Devin Harris hinted, that Utah will play him more physically.
He wouldn't be surprised if the Jazz attack the pick-and-roll harder and attempt to clog the paint to thwart his drives.
The crafty 6-foot-2 playmaker guesses they might try to trap him, even throw 6-8 Gordon Hayward or bigger guys at him, anything aside from abduction, to keep him from going off and scoring 28 points and dishing out eight assists like he did in Sunday's 106-91 Game 1 win.
As he might say en francais: "Ete la, fait que les."
Translation: Been there, done that.
"I've been doing that all season long," Parker said after Wednesday's practice. "I saw every type of defense. ... I'll be ready."
So, too, will the other 10 guys the Spurs have on their roster who can come to his aid and help bury the Jazz — from his Big Three partners Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to the deep bench 2011-12 NBA coach of the year Gregg Popovich has at his beckoning call.
"Whatever they (the Jazz) do, I have to be smart to adapt," Parker said. "If they want to take me out of the game, I have to make sure I get Timmy involved and Manu involved and all the other guys. That's why we have a deep team. It's not only on me, it's on everybody."
The Jazz experienced that to some degree on Sunday.
Stephen Jackson, reunited with the Spurs in a midseason trade, came off the bench to score 14 points. Matt Bonner hit three punch-in-the-gut 3-pointers. Boris Diaw scored nine points. Plus, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair are all capable contributors. Even Patty Mills can light it up if he gets in.
San Antonio's 6-foot-11 Tiago Splitter is doubtful for Wednesday's game with a bruised bone in his left wrist, which hurts the Spurs' post player depth chart. But the No. 1 seed remains deep, even if it isn't as big anymore.
"That's why we're dangerous, because everybody can have a big night," Parker said. "I think we're going to play like that (lots of players) the whole playoffs."
FRENCH TIED: Parker and Diaw have been "les amis" since childhood, and they're also on Team France together. But it's extra special for the French players to team up in America, which happened a month-and-a-half ago when the Spurs picked up Diaw after Charlotte waived him.
"It's not every day you can play with your best friend in the same NBA team and he's starting and we're trying to win a championship," Parker said (although it is an everyday occurrence for them now). "It's just a great experience. Hopefully, we can go very far this year."
Parker said Les Bleus buddies speak their native tongue — "It would be weird to speak English to Boris," he added — but the point guard only talks in English on the basketball court.
You won't hear any pardon-my-French bad words from Parker aimed at referees or opponents.
"Because of respect," he said, "I talk English."
BAD MEMORIES: Parker was asked about Game 2 of this best-of-seven series being a "must-win" for the Spurs.
"In the playoffs, every game is very important. Every game's got pressure," Parker said. "It's a big game for us."
Being eliminated as a No. 1 seed in the first round to No. 8 Memphis in 2011 remains fresh in the Spurs' minds.
"I still think about what happened last year, so we're very motivated and we don't take any game lightly," Parker said. "We know Utah, they going to come back and they going to play better. They going to play with a lot more intensity. They going to play very physical, and so we going to have to match that energy."
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