For Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, they know their time of playing with one-another is coming to an end.
As the San Antonio Spurs welcomed LaMarcus Aldridge and David West to the roster during the offseason as well as the emergence of Kawhi Leonard, the ‘Big 3’ knew that their roles were going to change.
There are players in the league that do not like change. They want to be the ‘main’ attraction if you will. The Spurs and their organization is top-notch from the front office down to the players. Not one feels they are greater than the other.
The trio knows that this team now is changing. This team has now been dubbed as Leonards team. The three know that. They did not spark any confrontation or head into Gregg Popovich’s office to complain, they welcomed it.
Duncan expressed with ESPN’s Michael Wright that the team will use the 82-regular season games to figure out mistakes and to make the game easier for one another.
“We’re gonna make mistakes, and we’re gonna use as we always do, use the 82 [regular season games] to figure those mistakes out and try to minimize them as much as possible. It’s very different for us, but it’s been wonderful because [the new players have] been great, willing to learn. They’re willing to find their roles and play their roles. They’re here to win, and that’s all they’re about. That’s what we want people to buy into. That’s what we want people to do.”
Nov 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and center Tim Duncan (21) during their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs are off to an 11-3 start which in fact is the second-best in the league behind the Golden State Warriors. A lot coming into the season as fans wondered how long it would take this team to get synced with one another has come to revelation with Duncan.
“I think we still have some growing to do. We’re going to go through some ups and downs. We’re gonna lose some games. Even the games that we’ve lost and the situations we’ve lost [in], we don’t have the experience to kind of finish those games, and that’ll come. That’s just experience with this crew. All in all, I’ve been really pleased with all we’ve done.”
For Parker, his whole career he has been going through when to be a scorer and when he should be a facilitator. Monday night against the Suns, he knew that he would have to be more aggressive on the offensive side with the teams second leading scorer, Aldridge out with an ankle injury.
“It’s been the dilemma my whole career [between scoring and distributing],” Parker said. “So I’m always looking to find that balance. LaMarcus was out. So I knew I was going to be more aggressive. Kawhi was doing a lot. So I had to help him out.”
Knowing when and where to pick your spots has always worked for the Spurs. Parker knows that if Aldridge were in the game, he would have himself another option outside of Leonard. I do like the change of pace when the fourth quarter begins. Parker is just another player.