San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobili and the battle for SG minutes

By Gabe Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 21: Manu Ginobili
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 21: Manu Ginobili /

The San Antonio Spurs welcomed back Manu Ginobili to a shooting guard mix that’s somewhat cluttered.

The scrawny Manu Ginobili made his San Antonio Spurs debut in 2002. Including playoffs, he has played in over 1,200 games for the Spurs, and countless more in the Euroleague, and Argentine national team.

Ginobili has always been gifted offensively, and really good defensively, but it is the intangibles that make him so incredible. His clever maneuvers, superior court awareness and, of course, his flops. In fact, he is so committed to drawing charges, he suffered a nightmarish knee to the groin, and had to have testicular surgery a few years ago.

Over the years, he has made great plays, and he has made head-scratching plays, but that’s Ginobili, you take the good times with the cold streaks. You take the assist between a defenders leg, for the turnover trying to make a super cute pass. He will make a great defensive play. Only to go down on offense and force a bad three pointer three seconds into the shot clock. He’ll clank it off the rim, but get his own rebound. Then he makes a bad pass that gets deflected and nearly stolen, but doesn’t. Ball ends up back in his hands, and what does he do? He bangs a three pointer. Stuff like that, you can’t draw up, it’s just Ginobili.

So we come now to his 16th season, all with the San Antonio Spurs, and I think he will contribute like always, fewer minutes, of course, maybe only one of a back to back sometimes. Gregg Popovich will have plenty of shooting guards to rotate. Danny Green starts. You have Bryn Forbes, 6’3″, who turns 24 on Sunday, and absolutely scorched the summer league. Brandon Paul, 26 years young, 6’4″, in his first year in San Antonio, who shot the three well last season in Euroleague.

Next: Spurs free agency review

Now, Ginobili gets added into the mix, it’s going to be a battle for playing time. But when the game is on the line, let’s see if the ole No. 20 isn’t on the court, my money says he is. Look out, James Harden.