Has Ginobili lost his Star Power?

A couple months away from the playoffs and the Spurs’ star still looks out of sync.

Manu Ginobili has always been a player the Spurs could count on to have big games, but lately the aging star has been rather quiet. His drives to the basket are fewer and farther in between and most of his stats as a whole are down from last season. Coach Popovich has done a good job monitoring Ginobili’s minutes but the star has still had injury issues this season.

The San Antonio Spurs have been known for the “Big Three” tandem of Parker/Duncan/Ginobili for years now, but so far this season Parker and Duncan have been doing all the heavy lifting. Ginobili is scoring a career-low in points a game at 12.3 (since his rookie campaign) and his shooting percentages are all down from last year.

The former All-Star last season was shooting an impressive 53% from the field but this year it has dropped to below 44%. His shooting from beyond the arc that stood at a very respectable 42% is now at 36 % for the season. Even Ginobili’s supreme foul shooting has taken a dip from 87% to 80%, which is still solid. Has Ginobili finally lost a step or can he hit the switch when it’s time for the big games?

History has shown he can step up to the plate and help the Spurs in big games; he has never been a player that could be truly defined by his statistics. Despite his history, the Spurs are still going to need more from him on offense. The Spurs don’t need huge scoring numbers from him but they need for him to be a more effective shooter.
The Spurs as a whole are so much deadlier when Ginobili is hitting his outside shots—particularly the three. This shot will also create more opportunities for Ginobili to drive to the basket, opening up that quick first step so he can blow by defenders.

Has Ginobili lost his star power? The answer to that question remains to be seen, but increased shooting effectiveness from the field would do wonders for the aging star’s game.
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