Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs with the ball against Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat in the first quarter during Game Five of the 2013 NBA Finals.
Photographer: Getty Images
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The game plan for Game 5 is simple for the San Antonio Spurs: make sure Tony Parker stays healthy and minimize turnovers.
Parker said Saturday that his strained right hamstring could tear “any time now” but he says in the Finals, there’s no time to let it properly heal. “If it was the regular season, I would be resting it like 10 days, but now it’s the NBA Finals. If it gets a tear, it’s life.”
Parker said he did feel tired in Game 4, especially as the game wore on. But Coach Gregg Popovich said Parker will be fine and added that Ginobili will too.
Popovich said his primary concern heading into Game 5 is turnovers. In the last three games, the Spurs have turned the ball over 49 times. That’s a considerable number after they tied a Finals record in Game 1 with just four turnovers.
The Heat has scored 42 points off turnovers in its two wins, so the Spurs understand how important it is to control the ball offensively.
“You got to be close to perfect to beat them, and we were pretty far from that in Game 4," said Manu Ginobili.
Parker added, “We have to understand that their identity is to play aggressive defense, and they gamble and they’re going to take a lot of chances. We just have to be smarter with our decisions.”
Three blowouts in four games, has everyone wondering if Game 5 will be more of the same, or will these two teams manage to play another close game, similar to Game 1 when the Spurs beat the Heat by two.
The Spurs won Game 1 92-88, before the Heat blew them out of the American Airlines Arena in Game 2, 103 to 84. The Spurs turned the tide in Game 3 in San Antonio, beating the Heat 113 to 77, the third largest margin of victory in a Finals series. Game 4 belonged to the Heat again, another blowout, 109 to 93.
So Game 5 looms large for the Spurs because this is the last home game for them in the Finals, and they know how tough it would be to win two games in Miami when the series shifts back to South Beach for Games 6 and 7.
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