Is it time for the Spurs to turn the page on Ginobili?
I’ve often written about father time not being so kind to athletes, and the fact that once that day comes, the reality of not being able to perform at that high level must be a tough pill to swallow. While Tim Duncan doesn’t provide the elite numbers he once did, he actually had a resurgence this past season which has carried over into the postseason.
Conversely, Manu Ginobili just looks like a shell of his former self. Ginobili has scored in double figures just twice in his last 9 postseason games. He is shooting only 29.8% from downtown and just 37.7% overall, while averaging 10.6 ppg. He looks slow against elite defenders the last two series. He is making poor decisions in rushing shots and just forcing the action. On some plays he has trouble keeping his balance as he attempts to drive. Ginobili looks like he is pressing and wants to contribute, but his body won’t let him anymore.
I’ve been asking anyone who will listen to me whether or not Popovich will continue to live and die with his big 3. For the last 5 plus years he’s been doing a lot of dying with them in the postseeason. I’m not saying to bench Ginobili completely, because you never know if he has that one great performance still in him. I just think the time may be now for the Spurs to consider giving him less court time.
He’s been averaging a shade over 25 minutes per game this postseason. Perhaps limiting his minutes to 10-15 could be a good idea. You put him on the court for 5-7 minutes late first/early second quarter, and if he has nothing—take him out. The same for the second half. Leonard and Green can definitely play more minutes.
I firmly believe if Gregg Popovich wants to win a ring this year, he may want to consider turning the page and rely more on his youth versus some of the age he has on this team. I'm just not sure if Pop is willing to do this.