Spurs players expecting emotional return for Tony Parker
It will be an emotional night in the AT&T Center for the fans and Tony Parker as he makes his first appearance back on the court where he won multiple championships.
Parker left San Antonio for Charlotte over the summer.
“It’s going to be a little bit different. I am sure the crowd is going to be loud and waiting for Tony tonight,” Davis Bertans said.
“(I) think the fans will be excited to see him back, even it is with a different uniform and appreciative of everything he has given to the team and the city of San Antonio,” Pau Gasol said.
After the fans and Tony get reacquainted, it will be time for the Spurs to get serious.
After winning five straight, the Spurs come into tonight’s matchup losing two out of their last three, including splitting a home-and-home with Oklahoma City.
Part of getting a win will entail having to slow down Parker.
Even though Tony does not play starter minutes, he is still having a productive season. Parker is scoring nine points a game and shooting 45 percent in just 18 minutes a game.
His numbers may not be career bests, but his former teammates know he can still bring it like he did for 17 years as a Spur.
“He was a point guard who was never afraid to get in the lane and challenge bigs with his floaters, with his spins, with his fakes, with his feet,” Pau Gasol said.
“He’s a tough competitor, always,” Bertans said.
The tough competitiveness makes him a tough cover. Even though these guys know what Parker can do, it is still a challenge to stop him.
“He spent a lot of time here and we know is strong sides, his go to moves so we can use that in defense just to guard him better, but he is a tough player to guard regardless,” Bertans said.
The Hornets have lost three straight and five of their last six but are still in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference at 19-23.
The Spurs are in seventh place in the Western Conference at 25-19. After tonight, they play four of their next six games away from home.
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