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Old 05-04-05, 09:19 AM
LauraBC's Avatar
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Harvey: Global backcourt becomes all-world

Sorry these are coming a bit late! Spurs biggest fan, you should like this one

Buck Harvey: Global backcourt becomes all-world
Web Posted: 05/04/2005 12:00 AM CDT
San Antonio Express-News

They star in a national commercial together, which means they've finally arrived. Their championship rings, in this culture, don't mean as much as a 30-second spot.

The bit: Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili call in separately to a love-interest radio show hosted by Julius Erving, and both profess their passion for the NBA trophy. The two are surprised the other is on the line.

Tony?

Manu?

Is that you?

Their real-life connection should have been as confusing. They came from different continents to play a game on a third continent, both with English as a second language, one left-handed and the other right, both from low in the draft.

Their only common bond was high-pressure basketball, which is why they played well together from the start. But then came the past two games in Denver, when their worlds came together, and they connected as few backcourts do.

Tony?

Manu?

Isn't this the way it will be from now on?

Combined with Tim Duncan, another Spur who has been featured in the Erving spots, the three have developed a distinctive feel for each other. If they aren't the best trio in the league — and they arguably are — they are definitely the best three in concert.

Each has big-game capability, each can help when not scoring and each has an understanding when it's his turn. Sometimes each also understands when it's his turn to be selfish.


Ginobili grabbed the ball in Game 1. Duncan followed in Game 2. Ginobili came back in Game 3. And there was Parker on Monday night, with Duncan fouled out, doing his best Allen Iverson with 11 points in overtime.

"When Timmy went out," Parker said afterward, "in my mind, I wanted to take over."

He's done it before, though his playoff failures have often obscured these moments. Didn't Speedy Claxton have to rescue him in the 2003 Finals? And last year, when the Lakers clamped down, didn't Parker disappear?

Forgotten is what he has done right. In the 2003 playoffs, for example, he went on the road in the three series that were tied 1-1, and he did this: 29 points against Phoenix, 19 in one quarter against Dallas and 26 in New Jersey.

The opposing point guards? Merely Stephon Marbury, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd.

That's part of his problem. Parker's highs suggest he shouldn't have the kind of lows he's had. And when he started this series in slo-mo, he heard criticism from several quarters, including from this very space.

Parker has always handled that well, and he did this time. Whereas the Grizzlies' point guard, Jason Williams, went after a Memphis newspaper columnist last weekend, Parker took the opposite tact.

Monday night he apologized — with a deadpan expression — for not starring in Game 3s as he had in the past. "I'm sorry," he said, "I won't do it again."

Then he was playful, grinning, saying that he needs Duncan to foul out more often.


He also tried to explain his relationship with Duncan and Ginobili, and how sometimes he's so intent on getting the ball to them that he forgets about himself. "It's my job (to think about others)," he said. "Then, when I get a shot, sometimes I'm not in rhythm."

There's likely something to that. But there's also evidence that the longer these three play together, the more they understand the rhythms of the others. As Monday showed, each seemed to recognize what was necessary.

Between Duncan's 39 points, Ginobili reacted to the relentless Denver boos with his own 24. And at the end of regulation, when Parker thought that the Nuggets were collapsing on Ginobili, Parker reminded his teammate.

Look for me, Parker said.

That's another strength of this global backcourt. Both have the traits of the other; Ginobili can play some point guard, Parker some off-guard.

So Ginobili drove hard, bringing various Nuggets with him, before finding Parker open in the corner.

When Duncan fouled out in overtime, the roles changed even more. Ginobili stretched with a remarkable block on Carmelo Anthony, and then came Parker on the other end, rising up as if he knew it was his turn, snuffing Denver with a three-pointer.

Tony?

Manu?

Do they have to ask anymore?

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  #2  
Old 05-04-05, 09:21 AM
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I am very happy that we have a big 3 now.
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Old 05-04-05, 09:23 AM
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Whoops, lock
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Old 05-04-05, 09:36 AM
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Sorry Laura. I took your spot away for today
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Old 05-04-05, 09:45 AM
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I dont' care what team thinks they have the best duo... There's nothing more dangerous in basketball than a team that can hit you, on any given night, from 3 different angles.

Good thing is; we'll be doing it for AT LEAST 5 more years!
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Old 05-04-05, 10:20 AM
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I'm glad we have those three locked up for a long time. The thing I love is when other teams try to shut one of them down, we have two that can take over the game. I have to admit, I hated when Manu got benched, but after what I've seen it was a great idea. He adds a new threat that the other team has to worry about when he comes into the game. We got a steal picking Tony and Manu. It's just amazing how we picked Tony and Manu pretty low and they've turned out to be All Stars.
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Old 05-04-05, 10:45 AM
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whats that about jason williams going after a reporter????????????????? i didnt hear about it so someone enlighten me.
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Old 05-04-05, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraBC

He also tried to explain his relationship with Duncan and Ginobili, and how sometimes he's so intent on getting the ball to them that he forgets about himself. "It's my job (to think about others)," he said. "Then, when I get a shot, sometimes I'm not in rhythm."
I don't agree with that, I think Tony's problem is that when his offense isn't there he tries to hard to find it instead of getting others involved. A case in point was game 1 and game 3 where he kept trying to force the issue with the pick and roll and basically getting caught in no man's land where he either traveled or it turned into a bad play.

But I do agree that all 3 of them are uniguely gifted and talented, and that Tony is a remarkably poised guy even when he came in at 19, I always go back to how he handled the Kidd trade rumours during their run to the championship and I thought he did an exemplary job, only to get hazed caused he brought it up after the season ended when he made his true feeling known.

Tony is blessed to be surronded by two of the better sportsman in this league, Manu and TD, and a doting head coach.
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Old 05-04-05, 11:41 AM
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Wow. Great, fair article about Tony. I agree that his failures have definitely overshadowed his successes in the playoffs. Lets hope he is finally starting to even out.
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Old 05-04-05, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectGSX
Wow. Great, fair article about Tony. I agree that his failures have definitely overshadowed his successes in the playoffs. Lets hope he is finally starting to even out.
Maybe I'm reading too much into your last sentence, but I think Harvey was saying that TP really doesn't have more failures than successes. However, somehow fans harp on the failures too much than rather focus on what he's done well (aka the successes).
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Old 05-04-05, 12:37 PM
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So do we come up with some cheesy nickname for our big three.....

TMT....the three amigos!
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