Timajh Parker Rivera is a 23 year old 203cm forward from Milford, Conneticut playing his professional basketball career with SSV Lok Bernau. He played four years at Towson(NCAA) playing a total of 128 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 6.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.2apg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 58.1%, FT: 50.4%. He spoke to German Hoops before game one of the playoffs against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Timajh congrats on the 94-77 win against Wolfenbuettel and finishing the regular season in first place in the Pro B north. You finished the season in style, but what did the team learn from last weeks close 85-83 win against low ranked team Stahnsdorf?
Thank you! Basically we learned that we can never take our foot off the pedal every night each team we play is capable to hand us a loss. Nearing the playoffs we have to play every game as if it were our last.
Lok Bernau had it´s best scoring quarter in the third. What adjustments did you make to be able to push up a notch in the third quarter? How key were you two beast mode dunks at the start of the fourth quarter? Did this fuel the team to close out the game in fine fashion?
I don’t think we made to many adjustments. We buckled down on defense and that lead to more shots which started to drop in the third.
How key were you two beast mode dunks at the start of the fourth quarter? Did this fuel the team to close out the game in fine fashion?
They definitely gave the team and fans some energy. My teammates found me in great positions and made it easy for me.
The club had three guys in double figures and five guys 1-2 points away from double figures. Has the depth of this team been one of the things that has defined the strength of this team this season?
For sure I mean we have a lot of talent on this team and a lot of players that would play a lot of minutes on other teams. That makes it easy for us. Depth is definitely something we have and put to use.
On the other side of the court was American Demetrius Ward who became a player coach a few months ago. Is that something you could do later in your career if you were called upon?
If I were called upon for sure ! I mean I think guys would trust in me enough to do so further on in my career .
LOK Bernau closed out the season with a 6 game winning streak. Except for the 85-83 win against Stahnsdorf, all other five wins were blow outs. Has this team peaked or do you feel it can make another step in the playoffs?
I don’t think we’ve peaked at all ! I actually think we still haven’t had that game were we are all clicking I think we will see that in the playoffs . With everything on the line I think our team will step up .
You have the second best team defense in the Pro B north giving up 74 points a game. In the last two games the club has averaged giving up 80 points per game. What area on the defensive end will be most vital for Lok Bernau having continued success?
I would have to say or all around rotation and following coaches game plan to perfection .
Do you sense that Pierre Bland is playing on a mission. After winning the Regionaliga last season with lok Bernau, he wants to make the next step and reach the Pro A. What in his game and mentality makes you believe that Lok Bernau can win the Pro B title?
For sure he’s driven to win regardless he’s a leader and hates to lose . We all know that every night he’s going to play to win.
How have you followed the development of 18 year old German Ferdinand Zylka? He scored in double figures in the first none of 10 games, but only once in the last eight games. Did the long season take a toll on his game?
Not at all I think the depth on our team is the reason u see a lot of fluctuations in scoring is all.
Your having a solid season averaging 8,4ppg anf 7,4rpg and in our last interview in November told me “I am very selective with my shots and like to attack and create however I will be more aggressive as the season continues. Have you been content with your aggressiveness since then?
Some games I have some games I haven’t it’s been a mix however I try to make the best of my minutes for the team and for the win.
Your shooting 14/23 from the field in the last six games so shot selection has been very good with you. Do you at times wish like you could have even more shots per game?
Of course I think every player does but when your team is winning and your making the right decisions on the court then it doesn’t matter.
You now meet the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the first round of the playoffs. How excited are you about playing your first professional playoffs and what kind of Timajh Parker-Rivera will we see?
I’m very excited for my first pro playoffs and you can expect a focused and aggressive Timajh ready to do anything to win.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors could be the best eighth position team ever as they are a lot better than their record, but also unpredictable in their lineups. What kind of series can we await?
I mean we take things one game at a time. We’re going to prepare this week and be ready for whatever they have this weekend.
It is always very difficult to scout the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as they have many BBL license players that aren´t always available to play. Do you believe that Frankfurt will have an advantage simply because Lok Bernau won´t really know who will play?
I don’t believe any team has an advantage over us . Whoever they decide to throw out there has to play against us and we won’t make it easy for them.
Both teams are very talented and are coming into the playoffs with nice winning streaks. What will be key to advancing to the next round?
A key advantage will be defense. Like they say defense wins championships.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors have one of the top prospects in Europe with Isaac Bonga who is a projected 2018 NBA Draft pick that is a 6.9 point guard and had a triple double in the last game of the regular season against Nordlingen. Would he be worth some extra scouting by you on your free time just to check out all the hype or are you just going to go into the series and clog the paint area so he can´t get easy buckets?
We will be doing scouting all week I’m sure Coach will have a plan for him.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
Definitely top 5 I have to say!
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
I really think he is he’s doing this night in and night out on a team built around him with role players that’s not easy to do. Both other guys have stacked teams.
Draymond Greene recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
I guess because other people focus on scoring and he’s on a team where he could basically not score the whole season and still win lol . So I guess it was easy for him to do everything else!
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was John wick 2.
Thanks Timajh for the chat.