San Antonio Spurs 113, Denver Nuggets 112: Manu Ginobili Sheela na Gig

by

Manu Ginobili is not a basketball player. He’s an exhibitionist. And so far this this season what he is showing-off is worthy of MVP consideration.

For the second consecutive game, Ginobili pushed the Spurs to victory with ballsy, buzzer-beating heroics. Wednesday Ginobili fueled the Spurs with a spectacular, legal-upon-review step-back jump shot. But that was just a tease. What Manu Ginobili did last night we’ll never see again.

Seriously.

Never again.

But we’ll fantasize about something like it during boring 4th quarters and the timeouts of not-so-boring nail-biters. Manu Ginobili did something we’ll always want to see again, but never will.

Manu’s show began with a common strut. The Spurs had battled back from double-digit first half deficits to take a 85-84 lead into the 4th quarter, which Ginobili started on the bench, gathering wind, drinking kill juice.

Ginobili entered the game with 10:38 remaining in the quarter, and immediately put the Nuggets on notice. Over the next four minutes, Ginobili put together a personal 7-0 run on the Nuggets, and then, after Denver managed to respond, Manu dished a pair of assists on a beautiful screen-and-roll to Tim Duncan and three-ball kick to Matt Bonner.

The Spurs took a 102-93 advantage into a full timeout with 6:13 remaining in the game. But it was George Karl, not Gregg Popovich, whose team came out of the huddle with the goods. Denver played tough basketball down the back half of the 4th quarter, narrowing the score to 109-108.

Ginobili responded with a drive to the hoop that drew a foul from Gary Forbes. Manu iced the free throws, leaving the Spurs with a 111-108 lead and 16 seconds remaining in the game.

This game could have spent its last breaths on a boring exchange of free throws, and on most ho-hum nights it would have. But the Spurs defense crumbled a little, and on the following possession the Spurs gave up a dunk to Carmelo Anthony. 111-110.

Immediately after the basket, Antonio McDyess flubbed an in-bounds pass to Manu Ginobili. The ball ricocheted off Ginobili’s chest and head and popped into the waiting arms of Carmelo Anthony. The easy layup off the inbound steal took the game to 111-112, seven seconds remaining.

And this is when Manu Ginobili got all ridiculous. Showing off, as it were. The peacock spreading his fan.

Gregg Popovich drew up a nice side inbound after the Melo steal and layup. Pop ran three men toward the sideline, and Ginobili toward the hoop. Guess who received the inbound pass?

Ginobili caught the ball, split two defenders, and orchestrated a weird off the glass shot that bounced in and out before finally surrendering to the hoop. 113-112, Denver timeout, four seconds remaining.

Out of the timeout, Carmelo Anthony took the inbound pass straight to the hoop. Easy score.

Well it should have been an easy score, if not for Manu Ginobili drawing a textbook perfect charge on Anthony. Really, it’s true. Ginobili forced the refs into calling a charge as time expired. They had no choice. It was so obviously a charge. It was so obviously well-played by Ginobili. What can you do?

And so the game ends on a whistle. Time expires. Ginobili tops his own offensive brilliance with a defensive buzzer beater. Two beautifully executed game-winning plays, one on each side of the ball. Some nights Manu Ginobili’s game is just stare-at-me beautiful. This was one of those nights.

Two nights, two games. Two last second shots for the go-ahead lead. One drawn charge as time expires. You’ll never see it again.

Like I said, Manu Ginobili isn’t a basketball player. He’s an exhibitionist.

  • SpurredOn

    @ Tim Varner – excellent call. I’d forgotten about the Orlando game which based on quality of the teams, is right up there with last night. It’s too bad that game wasn’t national TV because it was stellar. Last night might only trump it because it didn’t end until the final second.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    Guys and gals,

    Please take the time to vote for Manu for the all-star game. He gives so much to the Spurs and is easily the most under appreciated superstar.

    We all love him and now please take the small amount of time and head to http://www.nba.com and cast your votes. One time per 24 hours is allowable.

  • jwalt

    And what do the Orlando and Denver games have in common (besides a W for the Spurs)? Manu won each game in the last moments (9 points in final 2 minutes vs Orlando).

  • The Beat Counselor

    Taken together, the last couple of nights have been damn near a religious experience.

    @agutierrez
    “Denver Thuggets”! Awesome. In the last couple of weeks I’d come to the conclusion that I hated the Nuggets more than the Lakers cuz of Melo, KMart & J.R. Smift (even though I like Chauncey). Now that Vujacic is gone and has Kobe mellowed a little bit (and he has nothing, but good things to say about the Spurs), the Lakers are just not as dislikable as these chest pounding buffoons.

    Sweet win.

    @Sriram
    And the the autograph? You should’ve bought a lottery ticket on the way home.

    @Impercipient
    +10

  • The Beat Counselor

    A nice and objective write up from the Nuggets Blog…

    http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/2010/12/17/carmelo-anthony-charge/

  • The Beat Counselor

    Kind of sweet how Roundball Mining Company has the advanced game statistics on the postgame write up and also featured links for the game.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Bry

    It’s good to be the king

  • jwalt

    I’m impressed by the Nuggets blog. I also found it interesting that the two outside refs both called charge immediately, while Dick Bavetta swallowed his whistle.

    and I hate to say this, but Bavetta has NEVER been a Spur lover. Watch the 4th quarter in 2005 in game 7 against the Pistons, he made 3 straight wrong calls and they were all against the spurs.

    and of course he’s the ref that Sacramento will always vilified for his pro-Laker calls in that famous 5th game between Sac and LA where to this day King fans say they were screwed mightily.

  • Lauri

    “Nobody was more glad than me that the Spurs didn’t let the game Tim Duncan had last night go to waste by losing.”

    Amen, Tom S. Amen.

    Manu won the game, but he never would have had the chance were it not for Duncan’s absolutely heroic (in his inimitable stalwart, stoic way) performance.

  • Hobson13

    Brandon in LA
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I agree 100%. While I don’t mind us flying under the radar, I don’t like this media bent on insulting the Spurs by not even stating their record correctly. Whle I’ve come to expect pure propaganda when it comes to politics, economics, and world events, I’ve been shocked to realize that ESPN and many other sports “news” outlets simply more of the same and are designed for one purpose ($$$). If you look on the ESPN NBA homepage, they have a new Heat story every single day. If the Heat haven’t played in a few days they then conjure up a story about what happened last summer (6 months ago)

    If the playoffs started today, there are 4 teams with better records and another 3 teams with the exact same number of losses as the Heat. I wouldn’t care if we were absolutely ignored, but it bothers me that the news world’s collective heads are so buried up the Heats asses that they can’t correctly recite a teams record (besides the Heat and Lakers).

    Anyway, that’s my little rant for the day. At least we can come to a site like 48MOH and get good information while bouncing ideas off educated Spurs fans.

  • idahospur

    I must have problems with my internet browser. It keeps saying the Spurs win and are 22-3. I thought this team filed a DNR last year and was ready to use it. Seriously what is going on?

    GO SPURS GO!!!!

  • Chase

    lol @ the fanbois on here.

    I like ginobli but he was on his toes for that charge. Check it again…

  • Kalis

    @jwalt

    Great point about Bavetta. Not only was he the only ref that didn’t call the charge, but Harrington’s blatant arm-pull against McDyess happened right in front of him, too. Props to the other two refs for getting the charge right, but boo on Bavetta for being willing to swallow his whistle twice.

  • The Beat Counselor

    @Chase

    From NBA.com:

    “Blocks/Charge: A block/charge foul occurs when a defender tries to get in front of his man to stop him from going in that direction. If he does not get into a legal defensive position and contact occurs, it is a blocking foul. If he gets to a legal position and the offensive player runs into him it is an offensive foul. In both situations, if the contact is minimal, no foul may be called. To get into a legal position defending against the dribbler, the defender just needs to get in front of him. On a drive to the basket, the defender must get to his position before the shooter starts his upward shooting motion. For most other cases, the defender must get into position and allow enough distance for the offensive player to stop and/or change direction.”

    http://www.nba.com/features/misunderstoodrules_051128.html

    Even the Nuggets Blog thought it was a good call.

    http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/2010/12/17/carmelo-anthony-charge/

    Now get on your knees and suck on Manu’s pinkie toe.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    On his toes? LOL

    Get real buddy. The NBA doesn’t specify that a defenders heel must stay in contact with the ground.

    http://www.nba.com/analysis/rules_c.html?nav=ArticleList

    http://www.nba.com/features/misunderstoodrules_051128.html

    His torso was set before Carmelo left the ground. His feet did not shuffle.

    Get outta here with nothing but a pile of tripe.

  • LPspursFan

    Chase…he beat carmelo to the spot. clearly. and last i checked, toes are part of the feet.

    as for espn, i’ve been watching first take every day and skip bayless said his producers won’t even let him mention the spurs. i find it utterly unethical based on journalistic standards that the spurs are being ignored by the mothership. however, being ignored might just be the chip on the spurs shoulder that keeps the team focused and leads us to ring no. 5. aww, who am i kidding – pop will be the one that keeps the team focused on the ultimate goal.

  • Colin

    Love watching these Spurs. Their game is pure, win or lose they leave it on the floor. They are a true machine who play as a unit and don’t need the glitz and media that Knicks/Heat command. Just keep winning and shut everybody up. Everybody. The best part is…….that the Spurs could care less what ANYBODY has to say. Awesome.

    BTW: someone mentioned that the defenders that Manu split were in good position for a charge? UHHH, look at JR Smith’s matador defense. That was classic Nuggets piss-poor defense at work.

  • betsyduncan

    ‘Un-sexy’ Spurs ARE sexy! And it’s all thanks to the Magnificient Manu. ESPN, Barking Chuck and the doubters will have to pony up soon enough. I’m not worried. Just think: Anderson is still re-habbing! It’s been nice, especially since the ‘Boys were such a monumental disappointment this year.
    Your article was “kill juice” btw, Mr. V.

  • ITGuy

    Best line so far: “Not to sound like a disgruntled “everyone hates us” Suns fan”
    ~ Brandon in LA

    @Tyler
    Manu is an international man of character, Chuck is a Texas legend.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Ivander

    hahaha ,love the part about the kill juice!!
    man i can’t believe whats going on so far this season, but i am well aware that this won’t last forever, it’s just too good to be true. Let’s just savor this stretch and hope for the best. And I thought James Anderson’s injury would affect our game, eh eh, no way… Ho Spurs Ho !

  • DorieStreet

    Great comeback after allowing 37 1st qtr pts; couldn’t see game- Blair just mismatched against Nuggets because of height? Way to go Bonner – hitting 3′s on the road- that’s what you’re getting paid to do! Just 9 TOs- let’s get that number lower. Will Splitter injury be a setback? Don’t young & long Grizs coming off last night road loss spoil perfect Dec. home record!!

  • Gebo

    For DorieStreet

    Tiago apparently caught a knee to his man parts. He should be back soon.

  • andy

    “Manu is entering Chuck Norris territory.”

    +20

    headed to bahia blanca tomorrow. time to visit he argentine bball mecca that spawned this great.

  • Pingback: Are the San Antonio Spurs as good as their 25-4 record?

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    Upon further review, Antonio McDyess should also be assessed with a “friendly foul” for the hipcheck against Manu while the latter was falling down after drawing the charge >:)