Last Thursday's out-of-gas beat down by the New York Knicks not withstanding, the San Antonio Spurs have been rolling lately.
Being completely healthy helps (for most of the games anyways), but so does having one of your most important players rounding in to form.
Over the last ten games, Manu Ginobili is averaging 14.3 ppg (up from his season average of 12.4) on 45.3 percent shooting (up from 40.6 percent), and 4.9 apg (up from an average of four a game). The Spurs are 8-2 on those ten games, which included a 109-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the AT&T Center Saturday night. Ginobili had one of his best all around games of the season, scoring 19 points, dishing out four assists and pulling down seven rebounds (he also had five turnovers, but take the good with the bad).
After the game, Tim Duncan discussed Ginobili's recent run of consistency.
"He's getting more comfortable out there. He's putting minutes together. That's more of what he's looking for, putting stretches of minutes together," Duncan said. "So he can get his rhythm and his wind back. All that together he's looking great."
The thing about the term "run of consistency" is it's an oxy moron. A run of consistency implies their will be some incosistencies. So the next step for Manu is to find consistency.
The Spurs bench has been really good this season, but they're going to need to know they can rely on Manu to be their anchor come playoff time and having him be his normal self is paramount for the Spurs' end of game units that have three go to scoring options in Duncan, Ginobili and Tony Parker.
The Spurs and Ginobili have a fun stretch coming up. They take on New Orleans Monday night (Eric Gordon), then host the Lakers Wednesday (Kobe), then get the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday (Tony Allen), so this will be a good week for Manu to test where he's at.
I know that the Grizzlies are more important. But I so much want them to beat LA. With fifteen wins, the Lakers need to go at least 30-14 in their remaining games to get a playoff ticket. (probably 32-12).
It's every other day schedule and home court advantage don't complain Spurs fan. The Hornets are a young team. The Spurs will prevail. Ex[pect close games against the Grizzlies and Lakers. Could go either way. I am betting on Spurs victory. Go Spurs!