San Antonio dropped its second consecutive game in a row at home, something that has not happend this season. It was only the third loss at home by the Spurs, but a game they should not have lost against an opponent who has been devastated by injuries. Though the Spurs got good games from Duncan and Parker, nothing was more clear than how the Spurs need Manu Ginobili back at 100%.
Ginobili gives this offense another spark, another person to cover, and play defense. San Antonio could not get a stop when it mattered most, and on the offensive end, especially late, the Nuggets took their chances and forced it away from Parker and Duncan. Richard Jefferson hasn’t played consistent all year, Gary Neal has hit shots before though it did not happen for him tonight.
Manu Ginobili’s offensive abilities are unquestioned. He may have lost a slight step over the year, but he can still shoot the ball, attack the rim, find other open players, and create breakdowns in the opposing defense. With Parker on the floor, that gives the Spurs two players who can do that.
Duncan cannot do that as much anymore, though his posterization of Chris Anderson last night still shows he can at times. Richard Jefferson has not attacked the rim like he used to in Milwaukee. Daniel Green, Gary Neal, and Kawhi Leonard are all young players, who have the potential to, but their inconsistency has hurt their playing time.
There is still quite a bit of basketball to be played and the Spurs have plenty of time to figure it out. Virtually assured a playoff spot (according to ESPN.com they have a 100% of making the playoffs), all the Spurs care about is a deep playoff run, and not another disappointing first round exit.
The difference between either happening all depends on the health of Manu Ginobili.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM