The two sides of missing Manu

With Manu Ginobili on the sidelines, the San Antonio Spurs have done a fairly decent job on keeping up with the rest of the league. However, they are now slowly experiencing the pain of playing without their emotional leader.

The Spurs are surely missing Manu, the good news is, a lot of players have stepped up during his absence.

After losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs fall to 12-9, which is third in the Southwest Division but is only good for 8th place in the Western Conference.

And the schedule isn’t getting any easy either.

After tonight’s game in Memphis, the Spurs will play nine of their next twelve games on the road for the annual Rodeo Road Trip where they have a woeful 2-8 record.

It could be argued that with Manu healthy, the Spurs could have at least won a couple more games.

They have lost nine games so far and are struggling badly on the road, but are not being whooped in the ass so to speak.

In fact, most of the games they loss have gone down the wire where they had their chances of sneaking out a victory. However, their main problem is closing out games — and that is where the Spurs truly missed Manu.

Make no mistake about it, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are there to steady the Spurs as both players have played well under pressure, but it’s no secret that Ginobili is one of the best in end game situations.

His ability to make plays and craftiness is hard to replace, plus he is clutch too.

Without Ginobili, the Spurs offense lacked some teeth because they lost a player who can attack the basket with reckless abandon.

Nonetheless,  injuries are a part of sports and all NBA teams are battling injuries of their own.

If there is any consolation to Manu’s injury, is that it came early and it gave other players a chance to prove themselves and learn the system faster.

With Manu out, the bulk of the Spurs offense fell on the shoulders of Duncan, Parker and Richard Jefferson, while they did a decent job at it, the absence of Ginobili may have made the Spurs tougher in the long run.

The Spurs have managed to stay competitive without Manu, but they will have to do a better job on the road.

The Spurs’ bench have been a pleasant surprise, giving the team a huge lift.

Last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Mavericks provided a glimpse of the what the Spurs second-unit are capable of.

Tiago Splitter and Danny Green in particular have come out of their shells and are both playing with confidence.

Rookie Kawhi Leonard have been a mainstay at the starting lineup because of his defensive tenacity.

Of course the dynamics would change once Ginobili is back.

Green’a playing time would likely lessen and Leonard could head back to his off the bench role, but the thing is, these players have already earned coach Gregg Popovich’s trust and it will definitely make the Spurs deeper and stronger than most people expected.

Sure, Manu being hurt isn’t a good thing.

San Antonio is definitely a better team with him, but sometimes role players needed a break to prove their worth, luckily for the Spurs a lot of players have been stepping up in Ginobili’s absence and that makes the character of the team a whole lot better.

For now, the Spurs will have to wait and do their best to hold down the fort.

Should they continue to find ways to win while Ginobili is out, then other teams should watch out when the Argentine guard is back in silver and black.


6 thoughts on “The two sides of missing Manu

  1. Manu is irreplaceable, but Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard is really stepping up while he is recovering from injury the Spurs’ bench is one of the best in league today.

  2. Food for thought on this one Robby, at lot to digest and right now I’am full and going to throw up. To my surprise coach Pop did what he should had done and left the second unit out there Bravo the second team step up and man up. Growing pains its what its called. I hate losing the close ones cause it takes a lot of you emotionally. As much as we need a Big, we also need speed at the PG position French kid for Dallas was fast. The wait for Manu is we can’t wait any longer someone is about to pull the panic alarm switch pretty soon because .500 ball ain’t going to cut it. In baseball term starting pitcher Tim, Short reliever Tony, and the CLOSER Manu, expect Tony production to go down during the next month and the second team to play more, or just simply put Ground Hog Day is here same games like last night over and over again. I just hope more of those games fall to us on the winning end. By the way have you counted the roster by the end of this season we will be at 9 to 10 player at season end. Does that mean something?

  3. The Spurs are definitely missing Manu but I’m proud of what they have accomplished so far. Win or lose, I love the Spurs.

  4. When Manu comes back, Parker will play better because won’t be focused on him as much.

    I can’t wait to see TP-Manu backcourt tandem once again. Go Spurs Go!

  5. Pingback: Don’t sleep on the Spurs « Spurs World

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