Rethinking Game 1
Perfect hindsight is easy, and it always has the advantage of never being tested against reality. But one wonders if Gregg Popovich didn’t fall victim to his impulse of absolute caution with regard to injury. In other words, what if Manu Ginobili had played in Game 1?
Ginobili wanted to play; Ginobili felt well enough to play. But Gregg Popovich exercised his veto powers. That was that. Ginobili sat.
The Spurs lost Game 1 by three points. It seems like a long time ago, but you recall Shane Battier’s game winning 3, I’m sure. Three points isn’t much to overcome. Two possessions. The Spurs led late, prior to a defenisve collapse that gave way to a 7-0 Memphis run. With a little less than a minute remaining, the Spurs had the game in hand.
If Manu Ginobili had played in Game 1, would the Spurs have been two possessions better than the Grizzlies?
Psychologically, this is a much different series if the Spurs had claimed a victory in the series opener.