Tony Parker to Start in Game 2?

by May 05, 2010

The Spurs could see a familiar face back in the starting lineup tonight, as they try to even up their series with Phoenix. The Express- News reports: “Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was non-committal when asked if Tony Parker would be back in the starting lineup tonight. Manu Ginobili, who knows something about postseason lineup shuffles, says he won’t be surprised if it happens. Phoenix guard Steve Nash figures it’s ‘just a matter of time.’ It seems the only person certain about the role Parker will fill in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals is Parker himself. ‘I expect to come off the bench,’ Parker said after Tuesday’s practice. β€œOnce Pop makes a decision, usually it doesn’t change.’ History, not to mention Ginobili, attests otherwise. Popovich has famously played lineup roulette in the past, particularly with Ginobili and particularly when behind in a series. Having lost Game 1 on Monday 111-102, but with Parker coming on late to torch Nash, the stage could be set for another lineup swap in Game 2. Could Parker β€” aka ‘Manu Jr.’ β€” be in line for another Manu moment? ‘It wouldn’t shock me,’ Ginobili said. A three-time All-Star and former Finals MVP, Parker has backed up George Hill at point since his April 6 return from a fractured hand. In the Dallas series, Parker averaged 15.8 points in that role. This series, however, presents an obvious opportunity for a changing of the guard. The Spurs have stated the goal of attacking Nash on defense, making him expend energy without scoring, and Parker’s style is more conducive to that than Hill’s. Two years ago, Parker averaged 29.5 points against the Suns in the playoffs. ‘Tony is huge in this series because of the way he attacks seams,’ Ginobili said, ‘so as to put Nash in trouble, having to chase him.”’