The general consensus around the NBA is that the San Antonio Spurs are one of the top three teams in the league this season. They have been a team that has always enjoyed a lot of success in the regular season, largely due to Gregg Popovich’s elite coaching ability and the play of their key players: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
However, it was announced early this week that Ginobili is going to miss the next three-to-four weeks due to a strained right hamstring. Given the history of Ginobili with the Spurs, it might seem like this could seriously hurt the Spurs down the stretch at the start of the playoffs. However, that’s not exactly the case anymore.
The 35-year-old Ginobili has been battling injuries over the past two seasons and has played in just 59 games this year for San Antonio. In addition to the injuries, it has been quite obvious that Ginobili’s performance has been declining over the past two years.
For his career, Ginobili has been a fantastically reliable player for the Spurs. Over the 10 seasons that he has been in the league, including this year, he has averaged 14.9 points, four assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three. He’s been a big-time contributor to all of the success that the Spurs have enjoyed.
That type of production hasn’t been seen at all this season. Ginobili seems to have lost a step and seems like he is merely a shell of the player that he used to be. In the 59 games that he’s played this year, he has averaged just 11.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game and has shot just 42.6 percent from the floor and only 35.6 percent from long range.
There’s no denying that the Spurs will miss Ginobili. He’s still one of their most reliable players down the stretch of games and has the veteran savvy that is incredibly valuable to the team. However, with the way that he has performed this season, it seems like San Antonio may not miss him as much as they would have in previous seasons.