Tony Parker

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

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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

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Knicks will be better. Slightly.

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I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.

However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…

The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.