Manu Ginobili on Career-High Minutes: ‘I’m Loving it’

Despite the advanced age, Ginobili is playing more minutes than ever before. And he’s certainly not complaining. From the San Antonio Express-News: “Back when Ginobili was young, virile and in his prime, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich practically suffocated him in bubble wrap. He was used mostly as a sixth man, rarely sweating for more than 30 minutes a night. This season, at the ripe NBA age of 33, Ginobili is playing more minutes than ever before — 31:23 per game. ‘It’s kind of funny that when you’re 27, you play 28 (minutes) because they want to take care of you,’ Ginobili said. ‘Now at 33, you play 33.’ Not that Ginobili is complaining. After eight seasons of feeling under-utilized, the Argentine guard isn’t about to ask Popovich for time off now. ‘I’m loving it,’ he said. Whether the heavy workload this season has contributed to Ginobili’s recent shootingwoes is a subject for debate. In the past five games, Ginobili has missed 45 of 60 field goals and is just 2 of 19 from 3-point range, sparking speculation that perhaps the minutes are catching up to him. Ginobili, who averaged 14.4 points during that span, doesn’t think so. ‘I’m feeling good,’ Ginobili said. ‘As good as I’ve felt in a long time.'”