San Antonio will play at least a month without its vivacious, future Hall of Fame pulse and soul.
Parker’s disillusionment is understandable, given the unavoidable, freak nature of the Argentine All-Star’s latest injury. Ginobili suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand while extending it for a steal attempt. Hundreds of these “Manu being Manu” reaches have resulted in swipes that yielded fast-break scores. The rest, at worst, allowed the ball handler a less obstructed path to the rim.
No medical reports have ever indicated this ailment relates to mileage, age or an athlete’s injury record. When it happens to an unlucky player, it just happens. Suiting up less for Argentina in international competitions would not have prevented Ginobili’s bad break. All those postseason runs did not cause the bone to give in a way that required six stitches.
A month without Manu means at least 17 games and a number of grueling back-to-back sets will pass sans the slasher best equipped to navigate such an intense itinerary. San Antonio hosts Golden State tonight and Dallas tomorrow. With a 3-2 record and a defense that morphed from surprising to dreary and dreadful in Minneapolis, morbid predictions have flooded sports sites outside of Texas. Few see the Spurs withstanding this setback.
The gloomy forecasts range from a lottery appearance to the No. 8 seed. If San Antonio hopes to evade those projections and remain in the top seed hunt, these five things must happen. No, “El Contusion” in this case does not mean no chance.