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Tony Parker practices with Spurs, Popovich say’s he’ll be “fine” for Game 1

Jun 4, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

Tony Parker Tony Parker

Not that anyone expected him to sit out, but…

Tony Parker went through a full practice with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and he will start Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night in San Antonio.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, as reported by the Associated Press and others.

“Those five days [off] made a difference for me to be ready for Game 1,” Parker said (via Brian Windhorst of ESPN).

Parker rolled his ankle against Dallas in the first round of the playoffs then really sprained it in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Thunder. He aggravated the injury in Game 5, and by Game 6 Popovich was sitting him for the second half.

Heat players said to a man on Wednesday they expected Parker to play and be his vintage, hard-to-guard self.

A doctor working with Parker and the Spurs told a San Antonio radio station that Parker has a bone bruise but it was just a matter of pain management and Parker would be at 95 percent for the series.

The Spurs have very capable backups in Patty Mills and Corey Joseph, plus Manu Ginobili can handle the ball off the pick-and-roll and attack the rim.

But they need Parker to get into the lane, to push the pace in transition, to make smart decisions with the ball — he remains the key cog in their offense. They are not beating the Heat without him near his peak.

Tony Parker expects to last the full series

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