Spurs’ Tony Parker (hamstring) listed as day-to-day before Game 4 against Heat
SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs announced Wednesday that an MRI of All-Star guard Tony Parker’s right hamstring revealed a Grade 1 strain. He will be listed as day-to-day in advance of Game 4 of the Finals against the Heat, set for Thursday at the AT&T Center, and did not practice Wednesday.
“The MRI just confirmed what I felt was a strain, and I was just hoping it was not a tear or a defect,” Parker said at a news conference. “So the good news [is] it’s not a tear. It’s not a defect. So that’s the good news. Now I just have to see how I’m going to feel [Thursday].”
Parker said he wasn’t feeling pressure to be available for Game 4, but that the injury was “something new” for him and that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich generally prefers a cautious approach.
“Coach Pop always prefer the rest, to avoid injury,” Parker said. “It’s an injury, and so we’ll see. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Talk with Pop. Obviously it’s the Finals, you know. I know Pop is always going to prefer we take no risk.”
Popovich was noncommittal on Parker’s status for Thursday but noted that a Grade 1 strain is the “lowest level” of hamstring strains.
“I want to wait until [Thursday] before I make a decision whether he should play or not,” Popovich said. “And obviously a lot of it will have to do with Tony, and what happens to him during the day, and how I think his play will affect our team, whether good or bad. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is, and we’ll see what he looks like tomorrow. A lot of it will be what he feels.”
Parker finished with six points (on 2-for-5 shooting) and eight assists in 27 minutes in Game 3 on Tuesday. He left the game early, but San Antonio held a large fourth-quarter lead en route to a 113-77 victory.
Popovich has used a number of guards in his rotation during the postseason, and reserves Gary Neal and Cory Joseph both played more than 20 minutes in Game 3. Neal had six three-pointers and 24 points.
Parker, a five-time All-Star, led the Spurs in scoring and assists in the regular season and that has continued in the postseason. The 31-year-old averaged 20.3 points and 7.6 assists in the regular season and is averaging 21.3 points and 7.1 assists in the playoffs.
Tim Duncan broached the possibility of playing Game 4 without Parker on Wednesday.
“If that be the case, it would be a huge loss for us,” he said. “We played all season long minus a couple of guys in different cases for whatever amount. I was gone for 10 [actually 13] games, Tony was gone for a little while [16 games], Manu [Ginobili] was gone for a little while [22 games]. We made adjustments. … The responsibility will fall on my shoulders more, obviously, and Manu as well. So we both will try to step up even more in the absence of [Parker].”