The San Antonio Spurs had a tougher outing than expected against the Sacramento Kings at the AT&T Center. The team led by Gregg Popovich entered the fourth quarter down by six points, and they were on the losing end of the contest until late in the game, but their veteran players powered the team to a much-needed 112-104 win.
As expected, the Big 3 of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan came big for the Spurs right when they needed it. But out of the trio, the performance of the Argentinean star was the most surprising by a mile.
Manu came off the bench but logged 30 minutes on the court and finished the game with 28 points, three rebounds and three assists. Despite the fact that Parker scored the last seven points for the Spurs, the team wouldn’t have been able to win if it wasn’t for Ginobili’s contribution. He showed his usual slashing skills, but he was also sharp handling the ball as his experience was a key asset to slow down the Kings’ attack in the final 12 minutes.
Even though Ginobili led all the Spurs in scoring, it wouldn’t be wise to move him a starting role considering that both Danny Green and Marco Belinelli have been struggling in recent weeks. Ginobili is well suited for a bench role at this stage of his career and if he can keep producing at this rate, there’s no doubt that the Spurs will make a deep playoff run once again.
Health is all the Spurs need to contend and if taking care of the stars increases the chances of winning a title, Popovich will undoubtedly do it. In that sense, Ginobili’s role off the bench is a great move by the Spurs.