By Dan Loumena
8:21 PM EDT, June 12, 2013
Tony Parker, the driving force behind the San Antonio Spurs' quest for a fifth title, probably will be a game-time decision because of the hamstring injury he sustained against the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
The Spurs, of course, are not giving out much information. The joke is that Coach Gregg Popovich admitted Parker was on the roster and eligible to play in Game 4 on Thursday night.
"We'll wait and see," Popovich said of Parker's availability.
An MRI exam Wednesday showed that Parker had a mild strain of his hamstring. Officially he is listed as day to day for the best-of-seven series, which the Spurs lead 2-1 after a 113-77 rout of the Heat on Tuesday.
Games 4 and 5 are on Thursday and Sunday in San Antonio, with the series returning to Miami for Games 6 and 7, if necessary.
“I was just hoping it was not a tear or a defect,” Parker said. “So the good news, it's not a tear. It's not a defect. So that's good news. Now, I just have to see how I'm going to feel [Thursday].”
Parker, though, hinted at what the Spurs' normal strategy would be in this situation.
“Coach [Popovich] always prefers the rest to avoid injury," Parker said. "If it was the regular season, I would definitely have rest.”
If Parker is not available to play for the Spurs, who went 11-5 this season when he missed games, Cory Joseph would be next in line to help run the point. Joseph played 21 minutes in Game 3, mostly in mop-up duty.
“Cory has been playing very well for us the whole playoffs,” Parker said. “He's been battling to get that backup position. [Popovich] stuck with him the whole playoffs. I think he's doing a great job.”
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