Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Can Ginobili Continue His Strong Play?
San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobili has been quite the pleasant surprise so far in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks. His strong play has helped the Spurs gain a 3-2 lead over the Mavericks, and they hope to close out the series tonight in Dallas.
Ginobili’s numbers have drastically increased in the five games so far compared to his season averages.
Manu Ginobili: 19.6 PPG, 4.4 APG, 4.0 RPG, .462 FG%, .414 3P%, 1.8 STLPG
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His minutes are still somewhat monitored, playing only 29 minutes a game. Ginobili is attacking the basket with aggression which is helping him put up such great numbers and also we are seeing an increase of him at the line. It is also surprising to see him pouring in so many threes at a high rate.
Can we expect this from Ginobili throughout the whole playoffs if the Spurs make another deep run?
The Mavericks aren’t the best defensive unit, but they have been playing great defense throughout the series except for maybe Game 5 where the Spurs had complete dominance in the paint. While the Mavericks haven’t had the best people guarding Ginobili, he has seen minutes against Jae Crowder and hasn’t really struggled against him. Monta Ellis, Joes Calderon, and Vince Carter aren’t much of a threat on the defensive end. The Mavericks had to put Shawn Marion on Ginobili to slow him down, but this is definitely something the Spurs can live with.
With Ginobili continuing his hot play, adjustments must be made by the opponents. For example, the Mavericks have done a fine job with putting Marion on Parker, but they had to put Marion on Ginobili at times to try and minimize his play. This allows Parker to take advantage of the inferior defenders, and usually those defenders really struggle with the pick and roll offense.
While Ginobili may not be scorching throughout the playoffs, as long as he can keep chipping in points at a high percentage and potentially draw the attention of the better defenders, that can really open up the floor for the Spurs.
Expect Ginobili to keep it rolling tonight as the Spurs try to close out the series.