Tony Parker injury clouding NBA
The NBA odds have the Spurs as slight favorites in the series prices, as well as a -3 ½ favorite for Game 1 in San Antonio. The total is less than 200 points at 198 ½, and the big question coming into all of this is, will Tony Parker be healthy enough for the Spurs to win? Parker sprained his ankle in Game 4 against the Thunder, and it got to the point where he had to take himself out of the game in the second half of Game 6 of the conference finals.
New has already broken that he expects to play in Game 1, however we won’t know any more about his status until tomorrow when Gregg Popovich will speak to the media for the first time since they clinched their ticket back to the Finals. Parker has four full days to rest, and rehab his ankle, and with a 32 year-old, four days is a long time.
We have actually seen this from Parker before in these very playoffs. In Game 5 of the Portland series, Parker hurt his hamstring and did not play in the second half. Even though that injury might not have been as serious as this one, Parker came back in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, to score 14 points and 12 assists. He has exactly four days rest after that injury, and the four days he gets here will be enough. While I don’t think he will be a full 100%, he should be healthy enough to give the Heat some problems.
NBA Odds breakdown
These NBA odds look to be assuming Parker is ok, and if indeed the Spurs are playing coy with everyone and holding back news of his improved health, this could be used as a value point for Game 1. Nonetheless, even if Parker isn’t fully healthy, the Spurs have a lot more options to go to if indeed Parker isn’t effective running the offense.
The Spurs could easily start Manu Ginobli to run the offense and have more of Patty Mills as well. Both of these guys are much more accomplished three point shooters than Parker is, and either way it goes, I don’t think Parker being banged up is going to kill the Spurs.
Watch for news from Spurs camp tomorrow in regards to the Parker injury, but as long as there isn’t any more doubt or uncertainty given when Popovich meets the media, you can bet Parker will be starting in Game 1.
The Spurs are a lot deeper than they were last year when they lost to the Heat, and even with a shallower roster a year ago, the Spurs still seemed to have the Heat pinned twice. As long as they don’t blow it again like they did a season ago, the Spurs should come away with a win. They have home court advantage this time around, and the luxury of having the first two games at home this time.
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