Parker set to face Heat in Game 1

Parker Spurs 16805911San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker is set to face Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals series on Thursday, despite concerns over an ankle injury (San Antonio Spurs 8/11, Miami Heat 11/10 – NBA Championship Outright).

The two sides face off in a repeat of the 2013 Finals, which Miami won 4-3, but this time the Spurs have home-court advantage, with four of the seven games set to take place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Parker’s fitness could be crucial to his side as he runs the Spurs offence when he is on court, and his availability will come as a massive boost to coach Gregg Popovich.

The 32-year-old point guard missed the entire second half of his side’s Game 6 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals as the Spurs secured a 4-2 series win, but is set to face the Heat on Thursday.

San Antonio are 8/15 to come out on top in the opening game, while Miami can be backed at 6/4 to secure the win.

Parker missed training on Tuesday, but Popovich expects him to be ready to take on Miami.

“He’s getting better every day, and I expect him to play,” said Popovich.

Parker has now revealed he has been struggling with a number of injury problems since their series victory over Portland Trail Blazers in the Conference semi-finals, but expects to be involved against the two-time defending champions on Thursday.

“I don’t like to talk about when I’m hurt,” said Parker. “I played on it for the whole series against Portland. That’s why I think my hamstring got hurt because I was playing on a bad ankle.”

He added: “I twisted it again [in Game 4 against Oklahoma], but didn’t say anything. Played on it, and then Game 6 I think my body is like, ‘That’s enough.’ It’s perfect timing to get five days and to get better and to be ready for Game 1 [against Miami].”

Parker can be backed at 5/2 to be names the NBA Finals series MVP, while Miami star LeBron James is priced at 6/5.

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