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Is Belinelli the New Ginobili?

The Spurs have signed the Italian guard to likely become their new 6th man spark off the bench.

The San Antonio Spurs are being very aggressive early in the free agency period, already making several moves. One of the best moves they have made is adding Italian guard Marco Belinelli. The guard did well in the Chicago Bulls’ system and gave them a solid boost off their bench. Now he will be suiting up for the Spurs and likely coming off the bench as well, could he be a possible candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award?            

Manu Ginobili is usually the first guy off the bench for the Spurs but in the last couple seasons his minutes on the floor have dwindled. Don’t be surprised to see the Argentinian star in an even more reduced role next season. Belinelli is only 27 years old and has a similar skill-set as Ginobili (at this point in his career).  Their numbers from a year ago almost mirror each other.            

Now Belinelli will have the advantage of playing on a powerhouse offense, and could possibly thrive off of the Spurs’ system. A system that focuses on great passing, balanced scoring, and three-point shooting. The Bulls’ system ran a pretty stagnant offense and he was still able to be successful within it.

Belinelli will have to improve on his three-point shooting though, last season he only managed 34% from behind the arc. The Spurs will hope that the penetration of Tony Parker will provide Belinelli with wide open looks from long range.

He is also capable of possibly taking minutes away from Spurs’ starter Danny Green, who has proven to be a very one-dimensional player. Belinelli has better ball-handling capabilities and can drive to the basket better than Green.

Belinelli is a different player than Ginobili, but he could very well be that spark off the bench the Spurs have come to rely on. Especially on nights where Ginobili may not have the juice, Belinelli could step into the spotlight.

Also there is always the great chance of them thriving off of each other. Having both those guys come off the bench together could be a potent duo. Both players can stretch the floor and penetrate when needed, so the Spurs have a plethora of options to choose from.

This team has once again added an essential piece to their bench and will continue make the second units of opposing teams uneasy next season.                 

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