2012 NBA Playoffs: Spurs Need Manu Ginobili to Bring Consistent Magic

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 29, 2012

Manu Ginobili.
Manu Ginobili.Pool/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs are a very deep team, and if a player does struggle for whatever reason on any given night (it was Danny Green on Sunday night), another player or players (Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal) are ready to pick up the slack, thus making the Spurs a very tough team to defeat.

The San Antonio Spurs got a big contribution from veteran sixth man Ginobili Sunday evening in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was almost time for Ginobili to show signs of his old self after having a relatively quiet series against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers.

During the series against the Clippers, Ginobili was more of a standstill shooter and a passer, while so far in Game 1 against the Thunder he has been driving to the rim and looking for his own shot, making the Spurs an even more lethal team.

Ginobili finished the night with 26 points in the 101-98 San Antonio victory, although it is his ability to make the right decision (score or pass) in the clutch that makes him an even more special player since his debut in the NBA.

Injuries have hampered Ginobili lately as the 34-year-old Argentine played in just 34 games this season due to a broken finger and a strained oblique during this shortened season. However, it is his unique play that makes the Spurs an even tougher team to defeat.

Whether it is due to Ginobili’s ability to constantly get into the painted area, hit the wildest-looking shots, or driving Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich crazy, Ginobili adds another dimension to a team playing its best basketball at this time.

It will be interesting to see if Ginobili continues to look for his shot and stay aggressive, as doing so will put a lot more pressure on the Thunder’s frontcourt players on top of both Tony Parker and Tim Duncan’s level of play already.