Like Miami Heat’s Pride, Tony Parker’s Hamstring Is Only Sore

2013 NBA Finals
2013 NBA Finals
Jun 11 2013 San Antonio TX USA San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker 9 drives against Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem 40 during the first quarter of game three of the 2013 NBA Finals at the ATT Center Soobum Im USA TODAY Sports

Possibly the only dark spot in a shooting display that was hotter and brighter than a San Antonio BBQ, Tony Parker injured his hamstring in Game 3. After only playing a minute-and-a-half in the 4th quarter, the point guard decided to give it a rest, letting Gary Neal take over. And, boy, did he ever. But, San Antonio fans shouldn’t kid themselves: without Tony Parker spearheading Popovich’s era-defining tactics, it’ll be severely tough to close out on LeBron & Co.

Luckily for Parker, and surely a relief for Spurs fans, it was revealed today that his MRI only accounted for a Grade 1 strain. In doctor speak, that’s no big deal as it’s the mildest of sprains possible. A harsher strain or worse could have put Parker out of commission for the rest of the 2013 NBA Finals, but his baby injury only puts his health as day-to-day.

Parker says that he hopes to play in Game 4, which surely means that he intends to play in the pivotal contest. With a Game 4 win, and Game 5 also in San Antonio, the Spurs would be in position to at least put the champagne on ice.

A usually cautious Popovich would rather keep the possibility of Tony playing on ice, saying “I want to wait until [Thursday] before I make a decision whether he should play or not…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.”

How he feels?

Many observant spectators made note of LeBron’s “angry face” last year, and he ended up nabbing his first championship. This year, Tony has been the one with hot coals for eyes, which means that he wants another chip to his collection as badly as LeBron detractors want him to stop James from adding to his. Being a little hobbled isn’t going to derail his high-speed rail.

Parker was limited to six points and eight assists last night, and only posted 13 and 5 in a blowout to the Heat in Game 2. But without him, the Spurs wouldn’t have stolen Game 1, and with even a slightly limited version of himself, they’ll have a harder time of stealing the series.

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Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles