[Cross-posted from SpursTalk: Original thread here]
Manu Ginobili is known for his fourth quarter and playoff time playmaking. Sure, he's blown some games due to a dumb mistake, he's even blown a series at one point. However, he's also been compared to Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in the times of clutch. He's the player people use to say they'd take number one for a game winning shot. Then el contusión happened and the battering his body took aged him more than some others. Still, this year he's been pretty healthy... a bit slower, but still the Manu we know. The one thing that's been lacking has been his shot... whether its finishing at the rim or just making a jumpshot, something's been off. Well, just like Manu becomes a beast when someone gives him a hard hit, I think the trade talk and the general lack of respect he's been receiving is about to be the equivalent of a fourth quarter slap in the face.
Here are the signs that Manu is about to go off:
- The Spurs championship goal requires that he do so. Tim can't do it all on his own and Parker's going to be slower for the rest of this season. Manu has to be the other guy.
- Nobody's respecting Obi Wan Ginobili. The refs aren't respecting him, the fans aren't respecting him (trade Manu for Stoudemire???), and the organization isn't respecting him in his mind. He's played the game in an "everybody else comes first" mode since he came in the NBA... maybe he's ready to jettison that approach if it improves his chances of a trophy.
- Contract year: the team hasn't extended his contract like he wanted, and Manu's going to have to earn himself the money on a contract from all the potential teams out there who might want him. Time to end the "he's an aging SG talk."
- He might be a half step slower, but its the shot that is really keeping him from making it. An angry Manu usually finds his shot again. A clutch Manu usually finds his shots again. Both of those are now.
- Tony Parker is down. It might be a bit taboo, but we all really know that Parker and Ginobili generally lack some level of synergy... on the court, off the court, they just don't jive like some others. Manu's going to make this team his own for a bit. If he's leaving San Antone, he's going to make everyone remember what they lost.
- It only takes one game for him to find that rhythm again. Just so happens he's probably going to get more minutes and much greater shooting opportunities for a while. We'll see what happens.
- You talk about trading Manu for somebody else, and you can be guaranteed he's pissed off. Real pissed off.
If all these things together don't kick start Manu into going nuts on the court in the next few games, he's over the hill and on the way down. If the Manu who can't be stopped in the last 5:00 of a 4th quarter is still in there somewhere... then God help the other teams the Spurs are going to play in the next few. Time to find out if Manu can still be Manu.
-Originally posted by a guy named Blue-Lightning at Spurstalk.com