Perhaps there shouldn’t be so much surprise around what has happened to guard Manu Ginobili here in the NBA Finals. He is, after all, 35 years old, and no matter how much he insists on wanting to continue his career, it’s become obvious that he isn’t the player he was even two years ago. Ginobili averaged 11.8 points this year, on 42.5 percent shooting. In the playoffs, that has fallen to 10.6 points, on 37.7 percent shooting. After scoring 13 in Game 1 of the Finals, Ginobili has scored a grand total of 17 points in Games 2, 3 and 4, shooting 6-for-18 from the field. But this is not something new for the Spurs. The fact that Danny Green and Gary Neal were able to seize the spotlight in this series is not just a matter of them playing well. It is an acknowledgement that for the Spurs to succeed, less Ginobili means more production. “That’s what it has been all year,” Ginobili said after going 1-for-5 in Game 4. “I haven’t scored 30 points a game. I averaged 10. I wish I could score more, but it is not happening. I gotta try to do other stuff. I gotta move the ball. If my shot is not falling, I gotta be sharp feeding the bigs and finding the shooters. … I don’t have to force the issue. That’s not what I do. That’s not what I am asked to do.” There have been comparisons drawn between the struggles of Miami’s Dwyane Wade and those of Ginobili in this series, and to some extent, that’s accurate—both are aging perimeter players slowed over recent years by a litany of injuries. The big difference, though, is that a breakout game from Ginobili will look much different than the 32-point, six-steal effort of Wade in Game 4.
Spurs are better team when Manu Ginobili is offensive factor
Sporting News | Jun 15