San Antonio Spurs 92, Milwaukee Bucks 90: Manu Ginobili is a bad man

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AT&T CENTER — Our protagonist is slouched on a folding chair in an interview room in the AT&T Center getting ready to talk to Andrew Monaco for the Spurs’ post game show. Manu Ginobili sits, completely focused on absolutely nothing. Occasionally he glances up with an expressionless face at random people entering the room.

For a man who just hit a step-back, game winning jump shot as time expired in the Spurs’ 92-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks not even five minutes ago, Ginobili is very somber. Ginobili’s shoes, socks and ankle tape have all been removed and he sits wearing just his uniform, a pair of sandals and his thoughts.

It shouldn’t have come to this. The Spurs led the Bucks by as much as 18 in the third quarter and looked primed to blow it open. But they didn’t. Perhaps they were looking ahead to Thursday night’s game in Denver and looking to get some rest. But just 15 minutes of game time later, it was a tie ballgame and the outcome was in doubt.

In the end, the Spurs’ savior this season got them off the hook. With the game tied at 90 and 9.5 seconds left, Ginobili took the sideline in-bounds pass from Matt Bonner and waited. The seconds painfully ticked away and Ginobili dribbled slowly to the center circle. Not even a hint of urgency. Surely he realized there wasn’t much time on the clock, right?

With three 3-point shooters positioned on the perimeter and Tim Duncan cleared out as much as he reasonably could for someone trying to be a threat on the offensive boards, Ginobili waited for his chance.

With just 3.8 seconds remaining, he made his move. Manu took two dribbles towards the left side of the floor and gathered the ball. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, our antagonist on this final play, was able to get an ever so slight deflection on the ball.

Ginobili still got the ball into his shot pocket, albeit awkwardly. It affected his step-back and could’ve been a travelling violation. In fact, according to Bucks Head Coach, it was travelling.

“It was great defense on him, it made him travel,” Skiles said.

Travel or not, Ginobili maintained possession and balance, rose up and away (mostly away), and drained it.

[Update: Our guy Rob Mahoney says that looking at the rule book, it wasn’t a travel.]

  • NYC

    * That emoticon was suppose to be an eight).

  • Tyler

    @TD

    Again, by definition, to sign Splitter to part of the midlevel exception, the Spurs had to be over the cap. We were over the cap before we signed RJ.

    Signing Bonner in no way prevented us from going after another big man like Shaq.

    Shaq wanted to come to SA? I don’t remember hearing that anywhere. Regardless, even though he’s playing well right now, I question the fit with this team, both on the court and in the locker room, as NYC points out.

  • http://sharronclemons.co.cc/ Sharron Clemons

    @ Tyler I’m almost POSITIVE we have money left over – REMEMBER Bonner was our 1st Offseason signing and we didn’t go over the cap until we resigned Jefferson. But even then we could have gave him the 1.4 minimum and Still got Randolf with a trade exception of just left our options open – Shaq is only getting paid 1.4 million and is doing more with less than Bonner. Bonner – 21 min/game : 7 points and 3.5 rebounds………… NOT GETTING IT DONE BY ANYMEANS SHAQ – 22min/game : 11 and 6.5 – NOT BAD FOR A SENIOR CITIZEN – And his D on the pick and roll can’t be any worse than Bonner’s so please don’t bother hating ALSO The only real stats that matter are head to head stats. +/- and some of the other stats can be fudged and can be accounted to the other 4 guys that okay with you. But head to head Bonner gets out played by almost every person he guards 1 on 1…….Speed kills him, Power kills him, athleticism kills him. So the only way he can make amends for SUCKING as much as he does on D….. is to go out and get 12 and 6 a night or something close to it………

  • NYC

    Wait, let me get this straight: So you’re telling me Shaq is a better scorer and rebounder than Matt Bonner? I did not know that. Well, it all makes sense now. I’ve always wondered why some obscure 7’1″, 325 lb center was a no. 1 draft pick and franchise player for the majority of his 18-year nba career. You’re right: he’s definitely doing more with way less than Matt Bonner. Nevermind that Bonner is a shooter with a completely different game than Shaq who is a post player, let’s blow up the team and get this Shaq guy before the rest of the league catches on!

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