Finally Manu Ginobili played like the slashing, rim-attacking NBA champion we know him to be.
But it was just one game.
Gregg Popovich inserted Ginobili into the starting lineup in Game 5 of the 2013 NBA Finals, playing 33 minutes, the most he has seen since Game 4 of the Conference Semifinals against Golden State, and it worked to perfection.
He played like the Ginobili of old.
Ginobili, who has only averaged a little more than seven points per game through the first four games against Miami, was able to score a series-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Expect Ginobili to start in Game 6 at Miami but not with the same results.
Ginobili is 35 years old and has played almost 900 career games in the NBA, he was a staple in the Euroleague and he has played a bunch for his home country of Argentina.
The amount of basketball he has played throughout his career is a great indicator of why Popovich brings him off the bench. He’s not capable of playing THAT much game in and game out.
He is currently playing the least amount of postseason minutes per game (25.8) of his 10-year career. From 2004-05 to 2010-11, Ginobili was averaging more than 30 minutes per game in the postseason.
30 minutes or more is physically demanding on his body. He can’t take it, and the fact that Game 6 is being held with one day in between, I would be shocked to see him play that many minutes and be that effective in back-to-back outings.
In fact, his statistics this postseason prove that he can’t and won’t be effective in the following game after playing 30 or more minutes.
This postseason Ginobili has played 30 or more minutes four times. Following those games, Ginobili is shooting 11-of-33 (33.3 percent) with 33 total points.
Ginobili has been terrible after those four games this postseason and that’s what we should expect to see in Game 6 on the road.
The 2013 NBA Finals has been as whacky a final we have seen in quite some time. There has only been one single digit decision while the rest have been blowouts.
For two teams to have this much talent, it’s unbelievable to see the discrepancy between games.
Who knows what to expect in Game 6, but if you had to guess, Miami will take it to seven. But if that man Ginobili proves us all wrong by playing great in back-to-back games, the Spurs will win the NBA Finals.