Parker making some noise

For the most part, Anthony Parker goes about his job relatively quietly, albeit extremely...

For the most part, Anthony Parker goes about his job relatively quietly, albeit extremely effectively and with workmanlike efficiency for the Toronto Raptors. (Sun Media File/Ernest Doroszuk)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Anthony Parker isn't flashy enough to warrant one of those nicknames. No one calls him Lightning or Dunk of Funk or anything remotely like that. To his teammates, Parker is AP, his initials.

And you won't see too much flash from Parker on the floor, either.

Sure, there are times like the game in Indianapolis last Saturday when Parker can send his teammates, not to mention Chuck Swirsky, into a frenzy as he dunks over a 7-footer such as Troy Murphy or Jermaine O'Neal.

But for the most part, Parker goes about his job relatively quietly, albeit extremely effectively and with workmanlike efficiency.

Parker is the lone Raptor to start all 45 games this year, no small feat considering that in his first go round in the NBA -- which began eight years ago -- Parker played a total of only 55 games in three seasons, mostly because of injury.

Following two years with Philadelphia, Parker was dealt to Orlando, where he lasted a half-season before he was released. A short stint in the CBA was followed by 51/2 seasons in Europen leagues with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Virtus Roma.

His return to the NBA has been nothing short of a windfall for the Raptors and their general manager, Bryan Colangelo, who signed him.

Parker is averaging 11.7 points per game, is shooting 46% from the field and 44.6% from three-point range.

He has become the Raptors' Mr. Versatile. Need a player to defend the opponent's best shooter on the perimeter? Parker is your guy. Need a guy to knock down the three-pointer when Chris Bosh is being ganged up on in the paint? Parker is your guy. Need a guy to posterize your opponent's big man and in the process deflate the opposition? Well, Parker can be that guy too. Murphy, O'Neal and Emeka Okafor all can attest to that.

"Whatever team you're on, whatever they ask you to do, if you do it well, then you'll find a little bit more time and that's what I wanted," Parker said.

With just over half the season gone, Parker said he already has adjusted to the NBA game to the point where his actions on the court are second nature.

"I didn't play that much my first time in the NBA," Parker said. "Playing in Europe, it's a different set of rules, different style of play. My biggest thing (as far as differences go) is shot selection. What's a good shot here versus Europe? That has been my biggest adjustment and once I made that I started feeling comfortable and confident.

"Once I got the confidence of the coach, I no longer questioned myself. Now it's just instinct, you're not out there thinking."

Mitchell knows exactly of what Parker is speaking. He went to France before establishing himself in the NBA.

"It's all confidence. Feeling like you belong," Mitchell said. "That's the key. I went to Europe and played and came back and averaged 15, 16 points a game my first year in the NBA. What was it? Did I learn a new move? No, I had confidence. That's all it was."

Parker agrees with that to a point, but says you still need the opportunity to build that confidence and that's something he has been getting with the Raptors.

"Most of it is just getting the opportunity and into a comfortable situation and I don't think I got that the first time around," he said.


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