FanPost

Hollinger on Manu

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=Surprises-071 113&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fst ory%3fcolumnist%3dhollinger_john%26page%3dSurprises-071113

Manu Ginobili, Spurs
Like I said, it's still early. Really, really early. But just for kicks, let me throw a few questions out there, because we might need to start coming up with answers for them soon: Is it possible for a sixth man to be the MVP? If Ginobili pulls it off, don't we pretty much have to give him Most Improved too? And at what point should Alex English worry about his status as "best second-round draft pick ever" being in jeopardy?

While the media's agreement with the league stipulates that nobody can talk about the Spurs until June, I'm going to break it today, because through seven games, Ginobili has been unbelievable. He leads the league in player efficiency rating by a wide margin while averaging 27.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per 40 minutes. Also, he's seemingly on his way to completing his evolution from slasher to shooter by hitting 42.9 percent of his 3s and taking nearly half his shots from the great beyond.

Especially notable is his recently developed knack for hitting step-back 3s off the dribble going to his left -- a shot that is more or less impossible but one he knocks down routinely. (Seriously, for all you rec league players, try this some time. If you're right-handed, try taking a hard dribble right, stepping back with your right foot, and then launching from distance. Half the time you'll miss the basket by 4 feet).

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