My appologies if this has already been posted, but I thought everyone would enjoy the following extract from Bill Simmon's (yes, I know everyone on this site is not his number one fan) "NBA Playoff's are Wired" piece. I have copied and pasted an extract after the jump along with the link. Say what you want about Simmons, but I think he does a good job of describing what makes Ginobili such a special player.
GO SPURS GO
Here is the link.
29. "That's some Spiderman sh*t there. We missed our shot. Now he goin' be at us."
For the single greatest play of Round 1: Manu Ginobili's incredible 3-that-was-eventually-ruled-a-2 near the end of Game 5 against Memphis. Let's at least agree that this was (A) the most important replay review in league history, (B) one of the unluckiest defensive sequences you could ever have, and (C) one of the randomly greatest pressure shots in league history given the stakes. A quick running diary ...
09.4 secs left -- McDyess throws a terrible inbounds pass to Ginobili that Trick or Treat Tony Allen picks off but somehow doesn't catch. The ball ricochets to McDyess, who decides it's a good idea to take a 20-foot running hook with Marc Gasol standing right in front of him.
06.9 -- Gasol blocks the shot right to Trick or Treat Tony, who somehow can't catch the ball a second time even though it skins his head and hits both of his hands.
05.9 -- Ginobili ends up with the ball right in front of San Antonio's bench. He starts to dribble to the top of the key and quickly realizes that both Allen and Zach Randolph are blocking him. He whirls to dribble toward the right corner.
0:53 -- Click on this clip and go to the nine-second mark of it, then pause the clip with 0.53 seconds on the clock. You'll see Manu with his back to the basket and THREE Grizzlies closing in on him: Gasol closest to the baseline, then Allen, then Randolph. Odds of Ginobili scoring at this specific point: five kajillion to one.
0:47 -- Manu whirls toward the corner and decides (I'm translating from Spanish), "I'm going to get to the corner, plant my feet, and shoot a 3-pointer falling out of bounds with a 7-footer closing in on me, and this is definitely going to work."
0:38 -- Manu pulls off everything from the previous paragraph. Gasol misses blocking it by a fraction of a fingernail. Referee Bob Delaney is so stunned by the sequence that, with the ball in the air, he signals a "3" with his left hand and a "2" with his right hand. By the way, this wasn't even one of his five worst calls of the game. Somewhere in Scumville, Tim Donaghy nods happily.
0:22 -- The ball swishes through the hoop with Manu standing three feet out of bounds. Good God.
As you know, his left foot ended up being on the line, preventing it from going down as one of the greatest random saving-our-asses shot ever. If you're looking at the larger picture here, Ginobili will make the Hall of Fame someday because of his three rings and his 2004 gold medal, and what he meant internationally, and for all the other reasons anyone would mention in this paragraph. Still, for someone staring at his basketball-reference.com page in sixty years, there's just no way to translate his supernatural ability to roll with any situation on a basketball court. His soccer DNA gives him a freelancing ability that nobody else quite has, and really, that ridiculous 3-turned-2 was more of a soccer play than anything. He wasn't the best 2-guard of his generation or anything, but I'm pretty sure we'll see 10 more Dwyane Wades before we see another Ginobili.