- Created on Monday, 30 December 2013 09:53
- Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 20:46
- Written by David Rountree
Manu Ginobili has always been the “X-Factor” for the San Antonio Spurs, he use to always provide a boost for the team when they needed it. That is one of the reasons why when he struggled in the NBA Finals the team as a whole struggled with him. Ginobili didn’t look like himself in that series; almost all his stats were representing career-lows for the former all-star.
He even considered retirement in the off season but the Spur organization had faith in Ginobili and he is starting to repay them for their vote of confidence. This season he has been averaging close to 13 points and dishing out about 5 assist in only 24 minutes a game. The star could never be fully appreciated on stats alone but still this is rather impressive for the 36 year old.
The main thing setting Ginobili apart so far is his shooting percentage. In the playoffs last year he was shooting a mediocre 30% from the three point line, he has now raised that to a healthy 39%. Known for his free-throw shooting, he was oddly off last post season only shooting 73%. This is after shooting over at least 80% for most of his career, but this season his shooting a sizzling 92% from the strike.
Ginobili has also shown patience and poise that he didn’t have at the end of last year. He is improving on his turnovers, which was a major flaw in his game. He was averaging almost three a game and now that number is down to two.
He is also showing restraint when it comes to driving to the basket and taking contact. Staying healthy throughout the year has always been a chore for the star, but he has tailored his game to increase his chances of staying on the court.Ginobili also worked in the off season with strength coaches to improve his core and range of motion.
He has also made more an effort to improve his scoring around the mid-range portion of the court. Because of this, his overall shooting percentage has taken a leap. He was only shooting 39% at the end of the year, now he is shooting an awesome 48%.
The season has just begun and Ginobili will have to continue to be a factor throughout the year to help this team get home court advantage in the post season. This will also be the time and the arena to truly judge if Ginobili still has what it takes to help the Spurs win that evasive fifth championship ring.