Manu Ginobli has been out a little over a month with a broken hand, but is expected to play Saturday night when San Antonio visits the New Jersey Nets. Ginobili practiced Friday and said that he is out of shape for not playing in a while.
If you do not remember, Ginobili broke his hand when attempting to block Anthony Tolliver’s shot when the Spurs played the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 2nd. Many thought the Spurs would not fare so well without Manu, but they have been done well. At 18-9, San Antonio currently sits in second place of the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.
San Antonio’s success has come by many different key contributors. Tony Parker has been playing fantastic as of late, Tim Duncan is continuing to do his thing, and a different bench player is stepping up. For the Spurs, the offense is going to get better, with Manu sliding back into his usual shooting guard position.
However, don’t expect him to play many minutes for the first few games. San Antonio cannot risk another injury so soon. The Spurs need to keep him healthy until the playoffs, especially if they want to make a deep run. With Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker on the floor, the Spurs will have the big three back together for one final run, if Duncan does not sign a new contract after the season.
San Antonio’s bench has been able to get a lot of reps this season, playing nearly a combined 100 minutes per game. In those minutes, they have played well while also getting better individually. This is going to help them in the playoffs when crunch time situations come up. They have been there before, and know how to handle it.
With Ginobili back, San Antonio is going to get better. The rest of the Western Conference has been put on notice.
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