User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Manu's misfires worrying Spurs

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - What's the matter with Manu?

Advertisement
Manu Ginobili isn't scoring. His game is now careless instead of famously creative. In these NBA Finals, where LeBron James and Dwyane Wade just delivered a forceful reminder in Game 4 about stars deciding this series, the San Antonio Spurs are still waiting on one of their biggest.

The impatience is starting to show.

``He's having a tough playoffs, and hasn't really found a rhythm or found his game yet,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday. ``I think that he's obviously not as confident as usual, and he knows full well he hasn't performed the way he would like and the way he's used to. But it's simplistic to say, `What are we going to do to get him going?'''

Simplistic, maybe. But their prospects of winning a fifth title may hinge on that just.

Ginobili scored five points in 26 minutes in a 109-93 loss Thursday night, knotting the series heading into San Antonio's final home game Sunday. He's shooting just 34 percent against the Heat and is averaging 7.5 points, down from his 11.8 scoring average during the season.

Overall, Ginobili has shot 38 percent in the playoffs, a career worst. Only one of his last 11 tries from behind the 3-point line has connected. It got so bad in Game 4 that even the Baseline Bums, a boisterous section of Spurs die-hards in the AT&T Center where the wily Ginobili is most beloved, yelled for the Argentine to quit jacking up shots.

Ginobili seems to be getting fed up, too. He looked bothered by questions about his persistent struggles after shooting 1 for 5 on Thursday night and tying his third-lowest scoring game in 21 career Finals appearances.

The other time he managed just five points in the Finals? Game 2 in this same series.

``It's not that I've scored 30 a game this year,'' Ginobili said. ``I'm surprised. I wish I could score more. But it's not happening. I got to try to do other stuff. I've got to move the ball. If the shot is not falling, I've got to be sharp feeding the bigs and finding the shooters. I don't have to force the issue. That's not what I do. That's not what I'm asked to do.''

Putting a finger on what Ginobili does has always been tough to define - a quality that has made him one of the NBA's most entertaining players the last 11 years. At his most dazzling he's a fearless attacker, game-winning marksman, uncanny improviser and a master of falling-down shots that defy belief.

In Game 1, Ginobili perfectly bounce passed to Tony Parker between the legs of Miami's Norris Cole - while Cole had his back turned and running. The brilliant delivery was vintage Ginobili, but his performance the rest of this series has been otherwise forgettable.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Friday downplayed the effect the Heat defense has had on Ginobili, saying that it occasionally has come down to him missing some shots he normally makes. But Ginobili's game has never been predicated on jump shots, and Spoelstra and the Heat are wary of him turning it on.

``We've always looked at him very similar to our guy, to Dwyane,'' Spoelstra said. ``And what makes him probably most dangerous is the unpredictability, his ability to be aggressive and do things on the court that aren't necessarily scripted. That's where he's most dangerous.

Ginobili turns 36 in July. He will be a free agent this summer and has said he's not ready to retire. Three years ago, when Ginobili was playing at the end of his last contract and plagued by injuries, Popovich and Spurs general manager R.C. Buford didn't seal a new deal until Ginobili ripped through an exceptional two months late in 2010 that showed he still had it.

Now two wins from a championship, the Spurs need Ginobili to prove that again.

``He's going to get himself going or he won't,'' Popovich said. ``He knows that he's got to play better for us to be successful.''

---

Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Friday's Tip Sheet
Sportsbook: Friday's Top Action
News: 2nd Round Series Odds
News: 2016 Playoff Results
Raptors beat Heat in OT to tie East semis
Pacers seeking new voice on the bench
Stephen Curry unlikely to play Game 3
Damian Lillard gets tested by Warriors
Wizards' Wall undergoes knee surgery
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 8-1 L9 Picks
18-8 Playoffs, 16-5 L21 G-Plays
8-1 L9 G-Plays, +1,717 Picks TY
7-2 L7 Days, 18-9 L27 Guarantees
8-1 L9, 11-2 L13 NBA Selections
20-9 L9 Days, 7-2 L9 Guarantees
7-2 L9 G-Plays, 12-5 L17 Picks
15-8 L23 Picks, +2,314 This Year
4-0 L4 Guarantees, 5-1 L6 Picks
11-6 L17 G-Plays, +2,161 Overall
4-0 L4 G-Plays, 12-5 L5 Days
+1,787 Net Profits This Year
3-0 L3 Picks, 6-2 L8 G-Plays
6-1 L7 Picks, 8-2 L10 Totals
29-14 Last 43 G-Plays
5-2 Last 7 Playoff Picks
7-2 L9 Guarantees, 5-1 L6 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks- San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder
2015 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 2314
Greg Smith + 2161
Chip Chirimbes + 1787
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 680
Antony Dinero + 530
Bruce Marshall + 527
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Greg Smith 58 %
Paul Bovi 57 %
Stephen Nover 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1518
Paul Bovi + 1169
Jimmy Boyd + 919
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2971
Paul Bovi + 889
NeiltheGreek + 591
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2755
Paul Bovi + 1160
The Gold Sheet + 1131
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership