[Editor's note: Prior to the start of the regular season on Oct. 31, I will be previewing every player on the Spurs' roster, in no particular order. Alphabetical order is lame anyway.]
A synopsis of Manu Ginobili’s career isn’t necessary but I’ll provide one anyway.
Entering his 11th season — all of which has been spent with Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker — Ginobili is still among the elite crop of shooting guards. The position is dwindling in tslent level but even so, it is remarkable to see Ginobili produce at an equivalent to 23-year and future All-Star James Harden. The latter is, if not a carbon copy, a close enough resemblance to the Argentinian. (Moreso than Nando De Colo even though Harden lacks Ginobili’s passing gifts.)
Ginobili isn’t quite as athletic as he once was. Where he loses athleticism, however, he gains in intellect. And by sacrifing some of his ball handling duties to Tony Parker, he was able to produce his most efficient shooting season to date.
Overview: As previously mentioned, Ginobili posted career-highs in field goal percentage and true shooting percentage, an all-inclusive shooting metric that adjusts for value of 3-pointers and free throws.
If you were to point out one flaw in his shooting (and it really is a minor flaw), it would be his mid-range shooting. He still has yet to become an elite mid-range shooter. Ginobili has the capability of doing so — his shooting mechanics are sound and he has the range. Should he convert from 16-23 feet at 40% clip, certainly do-able, it would open up the offense a tad. It is not necessary, but it would be nice.
Role: Does everything count? Ginobili can seamlessly slide to the point guard position and facilitate the offense, get to the rim often as a shooting guard, spot-up from the perimeter in lineups inhabited by Tony Parker and wreak havoc defensively, especially in the passing angles. If there is anything that Ginobili doesn’t do well, you will be hard-pressed to point it out.
Future: Not going anywhere. If he wishes to re-sign long-term at the conclusion of this season, the Spurs will come to an agreement. It’s that simple.