Posts Tagged ‘Tiago’

Manu’s Injury Worst Break For Spurs


HANG TIME TEXAS – Just last week Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was sounding delighted that the good health of second-year players James Anderson and Tiago Splitter could give his team the kind of added depth necessary to weather the rigors of this condensed season.

Now Pop is sounding the alarm.

The Celtics had to open the season with Paul Pierce missing a few games due to a bruised heel and the Lakers have had to adjust to Kobe Bryant playing with torn ligaments in his wrist.

But the Spurs became the first team to take a serious hit to their starting lineup when Manu Ginobili broke a bone in his left (shooting) hand Monday night in Minneapolis while trying to make a steal.

As our good friend Mike Monroe points out in the San Antonio Express-News, the Spurs are losing more than just their leading scorer in Ginobili:

The two-time All-Star is to be re-examined by the Spurs’ medical staff today, after which a timeline for his return will be determined.

By the time the Timberwolves claimed their second victory of the season, the Spurs already were counting the ways they will have to cope without one of their most important players and their emotional touchstone.

“It’s going to be tough for us, because he was playing at an All-Star level,” said Parker, painfully aware Ginobili entered Monday’s game leading the team in scoring (19.8 points per game), shooting (60.5 percent) and 3-point shooting (54.2 percent). “Now everybody is going to have to pick it up and play better.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said James Anderson would move into the starting spot at shooting guard until Ginobili returns.

Anderson said he will be in the gym at the Spurs’ practice facility today, even if Popovich doesn’t call an official practice session.

“With him gone, I’m just going to have to get in the gym for some extra work and try to fulfill that role the best I can. He’s one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle on this team. Without him, we lose a lot of stuff, and that’s on both ends.”

It is so much more than the almost 20 points a game from Ginobili that the Spurs will be missing. He’s their heart, their soul, their spark, their engine at both ends of the floor. While we watch the 35-year-old Tim Duncan age before our eyes and Tony Parker not quite rise to the level of someone who can carry his team every night, Ginobili is the difference-maker for the Spurs.