- Series Hub: Spurs-Heat
SAN ANTONIO — If a strained hamstring keeps Tony Parker out of the lineup for Game 4, Cory Joseph won’t be thrown into a totally new experience.
When Parker sprained his ankle and missed eight games in March, Joseph moved into the starting lineup and the Spurs won six times.
“I’ve got confidence from that other time when Tony was out and confidence from all the work I’ve put in to get to here,” said the second-year point guard. “At this point, I haven’t heard anything. But no matter how much time I get, I’m just gonna go out there and play hard and try to bring my team energy, because that’s what I do.
Joseph had volunteered several times early in the season to go down to NBA D League Austin Toros to get playing time and work on his game.
“I could have just sat here and worked in practice,” he said. “But playing 1-on-1 and 3-on-3 is not the same as real playing time. You can’t simulate game action. So I have nothing but high praise for everything about the D-League that helped me improve and put myself in this situation.”
In those eight games that Joseph started for Parker in March, he averaged more than 20 minutes, 6.9 points and 3.3 assists per game.
“I can’t tell you how much or how little he’s going to play (in Game 4),” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “I can always count on him being a competitor in every way, shape and form every night. That’s what we like about him.”