If Parker Sits, Ginobili Must Rise Up


SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili is on notice.

The slumping shooting guard will serve as the San Antonio Spurs’ primary ballhandler in Game 4 if point guard Tony Parker is unable to play. Parker is in a holding pattern after an MRI on Wednesday revealed a mild hamstring strain. He attended the Spurs’ light workout at the AT&T Center, but did not participate in any drills.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he will wait until Thursday to determine Parker’s readiness to play against the Miami Heat. San Antonio, blowout winners in Game 3, holds a 2-1 lead over the defending champs.

“Coach Pop always prefers the rest to avoid injury,” Parker said. “If it was the regular season I would definitely rest, I would not play. And same thing here, it’s an injury and so we’ll see. We’ll see how I feel [Thursday]. Obviously, it’s the Finals, you know? I know Pop is always going to prefer we take no risk.”

If Parker can’t go, Ginobili will likely remain the sixth man with either Cory Joseph, who begged for an NBA D-League assignment this season to get some work, or 3-point bomber Gary Neal, replacing Parker in the starting lineup.

But there’s no doubt that Ginobili will have to play better than he has throughout this postseason and particularly this series in which he’s averaging 8.3 ppg and shooting 37.5 percent while playing 23.7 mpg, or about what Neal is logging. Ginobili has four total rebounds and six turnovers — twice the number of 3-pointers he’s made in the series — alarmingly throwing the ball away during routine halfcourt sets.

The Spurs went 11-5 without Parker during the regular season, but no one’s kidding themselves. This isn’t February.

“At this stage, at this time,” Tim Duncan said, “it would be obviously a huge loss for us.”

Perhaps if the 35-year-old Ginobili was in a better flow, the potential blow of playing without Parker would be lessened. But just as Ginobili’s performances have slipped, Parker has excelled as the Spurs’ do-it-all floor general. The Spurs’ offensive efficiency begins in his hands and the Heat’s defense has targeted Parker as the primary weapon.

“If he’s limited, it’s going to be hard because we know we need his speed, his judgment, his pick-and-rolls,” Ginobili said. “Because from that we create a lot of offense. And if we don’t have him, or if we have him limited, it’s going to be very, very difficult. But we’ll have to figure it out and find other answers.”

Ginobili got off to an inspired start in his first few minutes of Game 3, twice taking Dwyane Wade off the dribble for a layup followed by a rousing two-handed dunk. He’d make just one more bucket the rest of the way, finishing 3-for-7 from the floor for seven points, his eighth single-digit output of the playoffs, plus a couple of turnovers in 23 minutes.

He missed all four of his 3-point attempts and is now 3-for-13 in the series from beyond the arc and is shooting 30.9 percent from downtown throughout the postseason. Ginobili is a career 37.2-percent shooter from 3-point range.

If Parker sits, Ginobili must figure out his game and come to the rescue.

As of now, he is on notice.


  1. Arnoldphk says:

    T mac!

  2. Erlo says:

    Parker out … Spurs lose. It’s that simple. The Spurs are good, but they are not as good as they would amke you think if you just watched game 3. Shot lights out, good for them, but it won’t happen again. They need Parker’s scoring and facilitation.

  3. Not A Heat Fan says:

    I’m going to bath in Heat fan’s tears.

  4. Pops says:

    I don’t think he will, it’s the finals. If he does.. I agree with T-Mac stepping it up

  5. gg says:

    go danny green!!!!! and manu!!!!!!!!!!!!! and gary!!!!!!!!!! and tmac do another 13 points in 35 seconds!!!!!!!!

    not a hater, but Im rootin for the spurs

  6. anklebreaker729 says:

    Gotta love it when people overreact to one game, After game 1- Spurs gonna win finals, Game-2 Miami wins finals, Game 3 Spurs win finals. Okay so they beat Miami in game 3, didnt Miami beat them down in game 2 if im not mistaken. I aint a fan of either team but just as Spurs can look dominate so can Miami. Just watch the dam finals and see the outcome. Quit being blinded by just one win.

    • kilroy says:

      LOL, you’re just saying that coz your team aint in the finals.
      If they were, you’d probably be one of these overreacting fans.


  7. myvonne yu says:

    gneal and or manu r both ok 2 take d place of tony.BUT i hope & pray dat Tony can play w/o much worry.The Team shall win and not INDIVIDUALS & oach Pop has taught the players such system and it has been proven during the regular season.The humble Spurs will humble the proud defendidng champs!

  8. Willy Spurd says:

    esb1922 spot on! Are you kidding me? Is Lebron over rated? What he does in the regular season and what he is capable of in the playoff seasons cannot be compared. The efforts on a weekly day in day out regular season games are nothing compared to this Finals effort the Spurs are putting out. Plus he is tripled at times, this doesn’t happen during the regular season. Are the Heat over rated? Regular season and Finals are two different things and the Spurs are healthy and happy with the deeper team, despite the current injury.

  9. nba fan says:

    Spurs can beat Miami with or without TP, pop is genius, he doesn’t defend on one player , its a game of five, Some NBA writers are stupid thinking one guy like LEBRON can beat a whole team,

  10. FAN says:

    Ginobili can still play and I am sure he will step up in Game 4. By the way, I recently came across an interesting basketball idea http://basketball-united.com.

  11. Neutral_peace says:

    T- Mac is a good choice.

  12. TMAC says:

    It’s TMAC’s Time

  13. Paloy says:

    Im a LEBRON FAN when he was a cavalier, but when he transfer to the heat, i started to hate , i think of it a coward move just to win a championship,

    Ill go for the spurs ,,, i think they win this championship

  14. Scisca says:

    If TP doesn’t play, they should start with T-mac!

  15. JimD54 says:

    The Spurs just pounded the Heat by 30+ and Parker only had 6 points, why does everyone think they can’t win without Parker….Think people, they just did…You fans are grasping at straws, the Heat need help…..

  16. Kimmy says:

    If Parker sits, the Spurs have no chance to beat the Heat. I think at this point, he should play through the injury. Other players do. Westbrook played the rest of the game the night he got injured. Dwayne Wade is hurt, and so many other players, (pouting Dwight Howard, Carmello). This could cost them the playoffs. Ooops. Doesn’t matter. Heat is winning the championship no matter what.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      Haha! “Ooops” because you suddenly realized someone might use Parker’s injury as an excuse in case heat wins the title? Don’t worry, true Spurs fan are not like the heat fans… We are smart, buddy… Let alone the fact we chose a smart team.. We always think and we are rational on our every statement.. We are also never biased… If you see a Spurs fan not like these, he’s not a genuine fan at all… Maybe just a bandwagoner because his real team lost…

  17. joe says:

    I just hope the model of team building that the Spurs represent prevails over the quick fix championship method the Heat use.

    • David says:

      Totally agree, hope Parker is fit or play some of the game. The way the Spurs are run is much better will be good to see them win it.

  18. Slipri says:

    It’s Patty Mills time!

    • shane says:

      Couldn’t agree more….

    • Kalbo!! says:

      LOL you too… It’s actually Corey Joseph’s time..

      • Marco29 says:

        They could both share Parker’s load if he is sidelined. I would also like to see more playing time from Mills and also Blair especially if LBJ decides to come closer to the basket. Spurs are deep and will find a way to compensate if Parker cannot play.

  19. dan king says:

    Lebron hasn’t scored 20 points yet, and the Spurs are coming off a serious beat down of the defending champs. I think the Heat will win game 4, only if Parker doesn’t’ play or is limited by his injury. Lebron is struggling to beat a disciplined team with a championship pedigree. Win or Lose, I think it’s now safe to stop all of the Lebron vs Jordan comparisons. It isn’t close. Michael Jordan was a KILLER in the playoffs. Especially the finals. Lebron is big and strong. He can dominate against teams in the regular season. When it comes time to compete with defensive minded teams like the Spurs, he shrinks. The Heat may still win the Finals. It’s going to continue to be a close series. Lebron is a frontrunner. He does not have the heart required to will his team to a Championship. D Wade is the heart and soul of the Heat. D Wade is hurt. Doesn’t look good for Miami long term.

  20. julius says:

    Leonard is dominating the series with his rebounds,, his attitude is just phenomenal and Popovich can sit with the best all time just for how he transformed that kid into a smart player in two years. Lebron can do anything he wants, but he is not aggressive and complains to the refs all time, he played full speed only 5 minutes in the 3rd quarter, so the question is about what has in his mind.

  21. D WADE says:

    Spurs fans, sorry but LeBron is going to kill you guys next game. I f parker is there he gets killed with everyone and if he’s not there, he is really smart. LBJ and Heat all the way. Bring us the championship trophy home.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      I’m not saying it’s the other way around… But your clearly blinded by your biased fanaticism and your not thinking anymore… Do yourself a favor… Shut up and just watch the finals…

    • Inamo says:

      I hope to see your face after the series

  22. D WADE says:

    Wade’s knee is sore and parker’s hamstring is sore. These are 2 different things

  23. Alex says:

    Not sure how it’s fair when Wade is out there playing with 1 leg but whatever

    • yEp says:

      And Bosh doesn’t really do squat out there, factor that in too.

    • esb1922 says:

      You must be kidding?! “Wade is out there playing with 1 leg”??? How about beating Chicago without Rose, Hinrich and Deng? That super team… if they need Hasleem’s help in order to beat Indiana, then they are worth nothing

    • Loki says:

      He’s been that way for months now… He’s had quite some time to adjust his game accordingly. You’re basically saying the Heat’s entire playoff run was unfair when Rose was out the entire year and the rest of the cast spent the entire season battling injury after injury. Meanwhile Spurs will have to adjust last minute to Parker’s absence or shorthanded play on the fly.

      • Marco29 says:

        Bulls did not only miss Rose but Noah was also injured and other players (Deng, Buttler) were sidelined.

    • julius says:

      At that level you play on a bad knee until you need surgery, if not, only thing is to have your muscle still in a good shape to run and get some treatment when the series ends, a strain seems to be less important but is just much easer to be the same player, but in the meantime you have your muscle down… by the way Wade is playing i think he is fine, mostly because he is a warrior and probably he has some problems, but he needs to work on lose some weight and preserve his body, simply he can’t play like 10 years ago because his body doesn’t allow him and he finally has to work on his outside shot if he wants to be a star for next 3 or 4 years

    • Inamo says:

      maybe the reason for his “travelling” calls LOL.

      Bulls w/o Rose and Deng, Boston w/o Rondo and most of the bench, OKC w/o Westbrook, Indiana w/o Granger, GS w/ limping big men, Memphis traded Gay, LAL w/o starters… any other excuses??? Mafiami Heat fans are so used to having everything served in a platter. How about officiating always going Miami’s way, that an offensive foul call to LeFlop and a travelling call to Wade send you guys ballistic. That’s what spoiled brats do.

      • MoFo says:

        So you’re saying that NBA injured those players you mentioned so the heat can win easily? Bless your delusional heart. By the way the Grizz where better off without Gay, Indie was without Granger almost the whole season same goes for the Bulls and Rose, and the Heat didn’t even faced Beantown in the playoffs. P.S. even if the Lakers were all healthy they will still lose to SA in the first round.

    • koko man says:

      No body asked Wade to play with one leg, so I dont understand why people always hates challenge alot , Yes James is the best player in the world and am happy that he is now a changed man but that does not mean that he has to win all the time. it looks like Miami always depends on him to win . To Spurs Parker is there James,their play maker and they dont seem to depends on him. i would have say is not fair if you said that James was playing with one leg.

  24. spurs_fan_74 says:

    Luckily for us Spurs fans are not dependent on just one player.

  25. Big Al says:

    I sincerely hope that Parker gets well and plays in Game 4. I want this to be a fair fight till the end.

  26. Manu still has got the moves…so he’ll be fine