Cory Joseph has been impressing so far in the playoffs this season and played above everyone's expectations. When he's not managing the offense off the bench, he's been playing defense against guards and forwards taller than him.
When he was called up by the San Antonio Spurs this past season when Tony Parker got injured, it was believed it was just to fill in a roster spot and not get much playing time behind Patrick Mills, Nando De Colo, and Gary Neal. Instead, Joseph has been leading the pack from those names and he's not looking to slow down.
He's taking advantage of this opportunity since he didn't have that when he first came into the league.
“Your first reaction (going to the minors) is to get a little upset. You want to be playing with your team. But, you want to get minutes. And I understood I was there to learn, be positive and do my best,” Joseph said.
“You can work out as much as you want, but there’s nothing like playing in the game.”
Joseph's patience in the D-League has certainly paid off with him being named Parker's backup. Joseph is playing at a higher level than his previous visits with the Spurs and is currently averaging 4.5 points, 3 assists (.8 turnovers), and shooting 52% in 14 minutes in the playoffs. In fact, he's playing more like a veteran than the rest of the vets San Antonio has.
Joseph himself knows he's grown in Austin.
“I couldn’t stress it enough,” said Joseph. “It paid off a lot.”
The good news for the Spurs is that he's playing with maturity and sticking to the same game plan he had in Austin.