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Cory Joseph could get a big chance
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 13, 2013 @ 6:48 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Yannis Koutroupis, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker says he’ll play for the San Antonio Spurs vs. the Miami Heat Thursday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
But if his strained hamstring eats into his minutes, the Spurs will call on second-year guard Cory Joseph to step into a big, big role.
“I don’t know (what) the circumstance is right now,” Joseph told USA Today Sports. “But, I’ll be ready for whatever it is.”
In January, Joseph was running the show for the Austin Toros, San Antonio’s NBA Development League affiliate. He was unsure when he would get his chance to play in the Spurs’ crowded backcourt, or if he even would.
He made the most of his time with the Toros, playing 38 minutes, scoring 19.4 points, grabbing 4.8 rebounds and dishing out 5.5 assists on average.
Joseph showed enough development Spurs coach Gregg Popovich opted to make him the starter for nine games while Parker was out with an injury.
“I got a lot of experience,” Joseph said. “It helped me a lot.”
As a starter for the Spurs, Joseph averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 assists. Most important in his ability to stay on the floor for Popovich, he took care of the basketball, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.1:1.
So, two months after it looked like he could spend the majority of his sophomore season with the Toros, he’s in the NBA Finals.
“I didn’t know what to expect honestly because with this group you could have a chance just like that, with a snap of the finger,” Joseph said. “It’s crazy. It was a rollercoaster for me this year, but I was prepared for my chance when it came.”
If Joseph’s next big chance comes on Thursday night, all he has to do is the exact same things that he did when Parker was last out in March.
“Cory just has to come out and play defense, play smart,” Spurs guard Gary Neal said. “He has to realize that he can’t be a Tony or Manu (Ginobili). He just has to be simple, make the easy pass, take the shot if it’s there … [For more on San Antonio guard Cory Joseph could get a big chance, click here.]
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