Spurs-Grizz: Parker's 'unbelievable' three quarters of Game 2
Tony Parker had an amazing Game 2 ... for three quarters. Were the late game issues the product of Grizzlies defense or momentary exhaustion?
There were plays where he was moving so fast, the decisions so unexpected and unexpectedly quick, that even his teammates were caught off guard. His opponnent had nothing but the highest praise for him, which were simply repeats of his accolades.
"He's an All-Star, All-NBA. That's who he is," Tony Allen said.
"He's so dangerous all the time, that's why he's an All-Star," Mike Conley said.
Tony Parker once again sliced and diced the Grizzlies in Game 2, and was the biggest reason they had such a massive lead to be able to survive the Grizzlies charge. The Grizzlies were intent on two things going into Game 2: limiting the Spurs' effectiveness in the pick and roll and forcing them to slow down. Parker made both of those efforts fruitless for the first 36 minutes of the game.
He found cutters, he found shooters, he drove and kicked relentlessly on his way to 18 assists. It was surgical.
"He was unbeliveable," Manu Ginobili said. "He started very well. It was a game where he wasn't partciularly good with his shot. He always found somebody. He was very explosive. He kind of ran out of juice a little bit at the end. But he was the Tony Parker that we need and know. He's always threat for the opponents."
Ginobili touched on something that bears watching as this series plays out. Parker went 2-of-8 with no assists in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies held San Antonio to nine points and forced overtime. He was clearly worn down from the heavy minutes load, but you also started to see the Grizzlies' accumulative gameplan start to take effect.
Parker was disengaging. The Grizzlies were beating his shooters to their rotation spots. Memphis started showing high and higher on Parker in the pick and roll, bumping him more and more. It's not about putting the clamps on Parker immediately and with finality. It's about wearing him down, inch by inch, second by second, possession by possession. That's the Grizzlies' best shot at winning this series.
But if they can't do a better earlier on Parker, it won't matter. And the Grizzlies weren't biting when it comes to whether they made an impact on him.
"I can't say nothing bad that they did, they're up 2-0," Tony Allen said.
"In that first half, he was just unbeliveable," Conley said.
So now the big question becomes whether Parker simply got tired and allowed the Grizzlies to make a comeback, or if Memphis' constant pressure is starting to take its toll on the All-Star Spur.
Game 3 will likely determine the answer to that question, and that answer could foretell how long this series actually goes.
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