SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs have always been known for their system under coach Gregg Popovich. While it’s had its share of stars, it is the system they run that has made them a model of consistency.
However, in the midst of Tim Duncan’s and Tony Parker’s fundamental and sometimes predictable play has been the Manu Ginobili, the wildcard of the Spurs’ success.
Through 16 games this postseason, Ginobili is averaging 14 points and shooting 41 percent from the field.
While Ginobili is often not mentioned in the same shotmaking category as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant or Steph Curry, when his shots are dropping, he is the type of player that can be immune to any defense.
“Only way you can really stop him is really keeping him from getting the ball, but he’s so relentless in his pursuit,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s going to go down as one of the great performers. He definitely has big-time moments.”
Steadily improving: Despite having to play every other day since his return to the Oklahoma City lineup, Serge Ibaka said his strained calf is actually improving instead of getting worse.
“It’s getting a little better, but it’s not going that fast,” Ibaka said. “I wish it could get better quick, but it’s getting slowly better. But the most important thing is I can be able to play with my teammates. That’s good news.”
Brooks said the improvement is due to the Thunder training staff and Ibaka’s work ethic.
“We have a medical staff that’s really good,” Brooks said. “They work. They have a plan in place and Serge is dedicated to following that plan every day. He’s (in the training facility) like all our guys. It’s not a hobby, it’s their livelihood.”