With the San Antonio Spurs sitting back and getting much needed rest before the second round of the playoffs, this gives the team ample time to heal from injuries. Boris Diaw can heal from the surgery he had to remove a cyst on his spine, Tiago Splitter can heal from a left sprained ankle he suffered back on game three against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 37 year old Tim Duncan is deserving of some much needed rest. From our poll we set up yesterday, many of you feel that Duncan was the most valuable player of the first round series win for the Spurs. The series against the Lakers was a physical one with Duncan having to match-up with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, but he held his own.
For one Spur, the time off making him become restless. Which player? Manu Ginobili.
Ginobili told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, he needs to be out there.
“I kind of need to keep playing,” Ginobili said.
Ginobili battling from injury was uncertain for the start of the postseason. During the regular season, he missed 9 out of the teams final 10 games, do to a strained right hamstring. In the first round against the Lakers, he averaged 11.3 points, 4.8 assists in less than 20 minutes per game.
“I felt useful,” Ginobili said. “And that’s something I really needed to feel.”
Ginobili opened up game one against the Lakers looking back to form. He scored 18 points in 19 minutes of play. When I watched the game, he looked great. In games during the regular season, he seemed to try and do too much, quickly. In the playoffs, he let the game come to him.
Popovich tells McDonald that it is a good feeling to have Ginobili back.
“It was great to have Manu back,” Popovich said. “He does what he does. He makes big shots. He creates problems for the opponent.”
In game 4, Ginobili slammed home a one-hander which makes not only Spurs fans but surely the team feel that his hamstring is healthy. This is how he views it.
“I prefer making two threes, because I haven’t been making many shots lately,” said Ginobili, who nevertheless hit 7 of 14 from distance against L.A. “But when you can attack the rim and finish strong, it starts to play in your head that you can attack hard on defense, too.”
“I’m not going to complain,” Ginobili said. “We’re going to have a couple good practices, which is always useful. The team is going to be ready for the next round.”