The San Antonio Spurs were able to get out the conference finals without Tony Parker in the second half of the final game, but the point guard's health is a major issue going into Game 1 of tonight's NBA Finals rematch with the Miami Heat (ABC, 9 p.m. ET).
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich declared Parker, who rolled his left ankle in a first-round series with the Dallas Mavericks and sprained it in the West finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, would be "fine" after having five days off. They eliminated Oklahoma City in six games, with the final one going into overtime with the likes of Cory Joseph and Patty Mills being solid in relief.
"Those five days (are) very helpful for me," Parker said. "I was so proud of my teammates to get it done against OKC because those five days made the difference for me to be ready for Game 1."
Parker is the only player on the NBA's No. 1 overall see to be named to one of the three All-NBA teams announced Wednesday and for good reason. He's a game-changer with his ability to attack the paint, collapse defenses and create open shots for teammates. His blinding speed is his greatest physical asset. Without it, the deck would be stacked against San Antonio which has home-court advantage with Games 1 and 2 at AT&T Center.
"I'm trying to be very positive. I'm trying to do everything I can. Eat healthy. Get my rest. Do all the treatment. And just trust my body," Parker said. "I've been playing for four years nonstop since 2010, no vacation, made three conference finals, made two finals with the national team. ... Yes, I had some little stuff, wear and tear but I'm still here and I trust my body to hold on for the whole series."