- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said there’s no need to watch Tony Parker during pregame warmups to see how he’s moving after he sprained his left ankle in Monday’s Game 4. “He says he’s playing. I don’t think I have a vote,” Popovich said. “I’ll watch him when the game starts.” Parker had limited participation on Tuesday heading into a Western Conference opening series tied 2-2 heading into tonight’s Game 5. “(The trainers) have been rehabbing him the whole time,” Popovich said. “He’s not been out on the court.”
- Parker’s injury had a noticeable impact in Game 4 on the defensive approach the Mavericks have been using. Shawn Marion has been drawing much of the assignment guarding Parker, but he’s switched over to Manu Ginobili even when Parker is on the floor at the same time. “We always try to put (Marion) on the best player, best perimeter player,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said, “and sometimes he ends up on the big guys, too. We’ve got to do a better job on our perimeter positions across the board tonight. Ginobili got in the lane too much (in Game 4).”
- The one-game suspension of DeJuan Blair from the Mavericks for his kick to the head of the Spurs’ Tiago Splitter, which got him ejected from Game 4, could force Dallas to go deeper to the bench. “It shortens our depth at center,” Carlisle said. “If we need to play ‘Sarge,’ we’ll play ‘Sarge.'” That’s Bernard James, who’s only career playoff action came with two minutes of garbage time in the Mavs’ blowout victory in Game 2 at San Antonio.
- With a 6 p.m. CT tipoff, the Mavs did not have a shootaround today. Instead they went to a local park for a few minutes. “It’s an early game, and there wasn’t enough time to slug all the way over here to (to the AT&T Center),” Carlisle said. “We just wanted to do something different, get outside, get a little air. Guys did some stretching and moving around. Weren’t there very long. It was just an opportunity to get out of the hotel instead of sitting in there all day.”
– Tim Price