Manu taking it easy, Ford still not ready

Manu Ginobili is still rounding into shape.

After missing 22 games with a broken left hand, San Antonio Spurs star guard Manu Ginobili is trying to play his way back into shape after his first three games since returning to action February 11 at New Jersey.

“I’m a little tired,” Ginobili said. “My legs are a little sore after the long lockout and the short training camp.” (Hat tip Spurs Nation)

Even before his injury, Ginobili said his conditioning suffered.

“In the four games before I got hurt, I wasn’t even there in great shape and sitting for 40 days didn’t help me,” Ginobili said. “That’s why I have to be patient, take it easy and let the game come to me slowly. I’m not looking forward to too many things, taking too many shots. Just let it come to me.”

With the Spurs’ depth, Ginobili said he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to rush back into the team’s offense.

“I’m not ready to take over a game or get five minutes or make decisions very often. I need time,” Ginobili said.”I guess I want to push too hard and I fall or I dribble on my toes or that I’m out of rhythm.

“So, at this point, I’m trying to just contribute, little things, try to get a steal on a pass, a charge, a rebound. I’m going to shoot, but I’m not going to be forcing a lot of shots right now.”

Meanwhile, Spurs’ backup point guard T.J. Ford went through his most extensive workout of his rehabilitation Friday as he prepares to return from the lineup after recovering from a torn left hamstring.

Despite his extensive work with Cory Joseph for about 20 minutes after practice ended, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that Ford won’t play until after the All-Star break and the Rodeo Road Trip concludes.

T.J. Ford is making progress and could join the team after the Rodeo Trip.

He’s not ready,” Popovich said. “This is his first contact, one-one one. Two-on-two will be next, that kind of thing.”

Ford was injured in the Spurs’ January 10 loss at Milwaukee. The Spurs have posted a 15-5 record since his injury.

But Tony Parker’s playing time and scoring have zoomed without Ford in the rotation.

In the first nine games before Ford’s injury, Parker averaged 27.3 minutes per game and 15.9 points per game.

In his last 20 games without Ford to share in the playing time, Parker is averaging 37.5 minutes per game and 20.4 points per game.

While Parker has done a terrific job in Ford’s absence, having his primary backup the soonest should be a welcome change for the Tony.

At some point, the Spurs’ All-Star point guard will need some rest, considering the compacted schedule this season.


9 thoughts on “Manu taking it easy, Ford still not ready

  1. Manu will be fine in time, I agree that Ford has to come back soon and get some playing time to give TP some rest.

    Ford will be important part of the Spurs’ bench this season.

  2. I like Manu’s approach he doesn’t want to mess up with the current setup so he is trying to ease in into the lineup which is great for the Spurs.

    Also, I can’t wait to see Ford back in action, he’s playing well before he got hurt.

  3. Manu is right! No need to rush, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

    Parker has been superb without Ford, but I’m sure he’ll be happier with more help at the point guard duties. A a little more rest will surely make TP better in the long run, get healthy TJ! Go Spurs Go!

  4. Pingback: Spurs Nation » Blog brother advises Spurs Nation to savor ‘The Big Three’

  5. I hate to asked does anyone know what Manu is talking about when he says taking it easy? He only has one gear as far as I know and thats like we say in the Navy full speed ahead. I be happier when TJ gets back on the court and give TP a well earned and deserved rest or you can say taking it easy time.

  6. One more thing the lineups for todays game has Timmy on Griffen, not good in the sense that Blake can be a dirty player at times.

  7. I would trade Joseph asap! he is not even close to being ready…. he didnt do nothing at Texas! Save your money and get a “REAL” back-up this kid is doing it for the money cause why would you come out when you are not ready….(Trisitan Thompson is not there to hold your hand anymore) send him back to the d-league and forget about him! Cory wasnt never really like in Longhorn Nation!


  8. Guys, I understand the concern, the Spurs need to get healthy soon and Manu, Tiago and T.J’s injuries are frustrating, but hopefully they’d be back in the lineup soon.

    Cory Joseph has not shown what he’s capable of and has not earned coach Pop’s trust, trading him and maybe Anderson is a good option, but I don’t think there are many takers this season considering that they haven’t have enough time what they can do on the hard court.

    I totally understand the concern of getting a valuable piece in exchange for their services, however, I don’t see any realistic scenario that they would be sent to another team to benefit the Spurs.

    Thanks for the comments everyone and for raising this issue, maybe later this season I
    could something about Joseph and Anderson perhaps before the trade deadline.

    Also, it’s nice to hear from some new readers here like longhorn and hookem, thanks guys and keep coming back!

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