Manu Ginobili Struggling Mightily in the NBA Finals

by June 14, 2013

The San Antonio Spurs’ Big Three has become more like a Big Two and a half in these NBA Finals — Manu Ginobili is putting up just 7.5 points a game, and shooting a ghastly 34.4 percent from the field against the Miami Heat through four games. Everyone is at a loss as to why the 35-year old super-sub can’t seem to get going. Per Yahoo! Sports: “San Antonio Spurs fans – and maybe even some of the San Antonio Spurs themselves – are asking one question after the team’s 109-93 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals: What’s wrong with Manu Ginobili? ‘I don’t know,’ Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ‘If I knew that I would have fixed it.’ […] ‘No one is happy,’ Ginobili said. ‘Of course, I’d prefer to make more shots and play better. But I didn’t. That’s the bottom line.’ Ginobili’s scoring – and minutes – have dropped noticeably over the past two seasons. He averaged 11.8 points during the regular season, his fewest since his rookie year. He also had a long summer a year ago when the Spurs advanced to the Western Conference finals and Ginobili then played for Argentina’s national team in the London Olympics. ‘That’s what they’ve been all season long,’ said Ginobili, defending his low Finals scoring average. ‘It’s not like I’m scoring 30 a game this year.’ […] ‘We definitely need Manu,’ Spurs guard Tony Parker said. ‘We need to try to help him get his confidence going. But I have a lot of confidence in Manu. I’m sure he’s going to break out of the slump. I’ve played with him a long time. I just know he’s going to have a big game soon.’ Spurs forward Tim Duncan says Ginobili needs to be more selfish offensively. ‘He’s trying to make the right play at the right time,’ Duncan said. ‘He’s trying to make the right pass, make the defense move instead of looking for his own. So I think he’s just trying to make the right play more than anything. We need him to be a little more aggressive, be a little more selfish, maybe, and hopefully we can find him a way to get him to do that.’ […] Ginobili called Game 5 in San Antonio a ‘must win’ for the Spurs, given that Games 6 and, if necessary, 7 will be played in Miami. But that doesn’t mean Ginobili thinks the Spurs need a big-scoring night from him to win. He’s considered himself more of a facilitator this season because Parker and Duncan have played so well. ‘I wish I could score more, but it’s not happening,’ Ginobili said. ‘I have to try to do other stuff. I got to move the ball if my shot is not falling. I have to find the bigs and shooters. My teammates are doing great. If that happens, I use them. I don’t have to force the issue. That’s not what I do. It’s not what I’m asked to do.'”