Spurs Offense Sputtering without Star Manu Ginobli?
November 1, 2008 by AlexV
The San Antonio Spurs are not at their best, obviously, when Manu Ginobli isn’t in the lineup, and many league analysts attribute the loss of his extra offense to their early woes. However, I believe their problems originate elsewhere.
Last night, it wasn’t a lack of offense that kept San Antonio out of the game. The cutting and driving lay-ups and mid-range jumpers of Tony Parker (24pts), and hooks and short J’s of Tim Duncan (27pts) kept the Spurs in the game. But still, their were two other contributors for the Spurs last night; starter Michael Finley chipped in 16 points, and off-season free-agent acquisition Roger Mason scored 14 on 6-7 shooting… also helping to keep San Antonio in the game. The four player’s point totals adds up to 81 of the 99 their team posted altogether. That really isn’t bad considering teams like the Washington Wizards get an average of 70+ points from their big three, Gilbert Arenas (when actually healthy), Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler, and are still one of the highest scoring teams in the Eastern Conference, if not the entire NBA.
The problem with last night’s loss wasn’t a lack of offense for the Spurs, but a lack of defense, and the fact that they allowed 13 offensive boards and countless second chance points to the Trail Blazers. Add that to a hot 10-18, 26 point, shooting night by Brandon Roy, and the Spurs still only barely lost.
For all the grief the Spurs offense is receiving, the problems look to be emanating more from a lack of fundamental basketball skills, a phase of the game that this team has shown to be the greatest at over the past several years. If they can get back to actual Spurs basketball and not allow a team so many offensive boards, they’ll be back on track as one of the top five teams in the West.