- Created on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:00
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by David Rountree
The Spurs are on a roll; Ginobili is back and the team is boasting the best home record in the league. They did this largely without Ginobili who just recently returned from a 22 game injury-hiatus. Despite this the Spurs will still need him and his energy to push them towards championship contention.
Guard Manu Ginobili is a very special player to the San Antonio Spurs and the scope of his mere presence isn’t always shown in the stat sheet. Ginobili has been more than just a scorer or passer but a stat-stuffer; he is going to fill up the stat sheet in almost every category. The Spurs have been playing well in his absence but they undoubtedly need him to contend. Why is he so important to them?
3) Offense - Ginobili brings to the team more than just shot-making ability, he is able to create his own shot—which is rare on the Spurs. Several team members rely on paint penetration (usually by Parker) to get open shots from the perimeter. Ginobili can generate his own offense from behind the arc or with powerful drives to the basket. This makes him more of a threat to the opposing teams; his mere presence on the court creates space for the other players. It particularly allows for Duncan and Parker to have more room to work in the paint.
2) Tenacity - Ginobili only knows how to play basketball one way and that’s with 100% effort all the time. Over the years he has been known for making the timeliest plays on the defensive side of the ball. He has gotten steals, loose balls, and has taken charges when the Spurs needed them most. Ginobili also has a knack for getting offensive rebounds in tight games. This attitude has made him the heart and soul of this team. He relentlessly pressures the ball on the defensive end and inspires his teammates to follow suit.
1) Closer - What the San Antonio Spurs miss the most is a closer at the end of games. The Spurs have given a way a few games this year because their execution down the stretch has been lackluster—usually ending with forward Danny Green launching an awkward shot. With Ginobili back you can bet to see him with the ball at the end of games, and he almost always makes the best play. He creates a lane to the basket or he finds the open man. He also is the team’s best free throw shooter and has clenched dozens of games with this very skill.
The San Antonio Spurs have proven that they are a playoff team without Manu Ginobili and have caused opposing teams havoc on the nightly basis, but to contend for that allusive fifth championship they know they need Ginobili’s skill-set to have a chance.