Obi-Wan Ginobili - that's what one of the many banners of Spurs fans showed during the 2005 NBA Finals. 2005 was the year Manu Ginobili made it known to everyone in the NBA and worldwide that he is one hell of a player. The lefty Emanuel David "Manu" Ginobili is a native from Bahia Blanca, Argentina and is playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
There are a lot of Argentinian players in the NBA now but Ginobili outshines them all, not just because of the success the Spurs got but because of his consistency. I am not a basketball expert but I can tell that he's very consistent and determined too. Recently, the San Antonio Spurs won 100-99 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ginobili scored a total of 44 pts. I think I'm seeing the Ginobili I've seen in the 2005 Finals. With his speedy drives to the basket, crushing 3's, swift steals, & great D, what more could coach Gregg Popovich ask for?
Manu Ginobili also had his downs and that was the 2006 NBA season. He's obtained an injury which kept him out for several games and when he got back, the Ginobili of 2005 was no longer there. So, the acquisition of Michael Finley happened and Ginobili was left as the 6th man of the Spurs. I was really disappointed about the Ginobili-to-6th-man strategy of Popovich. I thought it was unfair. But despite being the 6th man of the Spurs, Ginobili strived to redeem himself by simply playing his best. Sad to say, the Spurs didn't make it to the 2006 NBA Finals.
Then came the 2007 NBA season and Ginobili has gotten more comfortable as the 6th man of the Spurs. He's played great basketball during the season and I think he's understood his place in the team. And I too have finally understood why Pop placed him as the 6th man. He was placed as the 6th man to boost the confidence of the team and the depth of the bench. Ginobili's drive in winning games made him one of the most exceptional players in the NBA. Ginobili along with Tim Duncan & Tony Parker held the Spurs at the top of the league. And the Spurs soon rallied to the Finals, defeated the rising Cleveland Cavaliers to 4-0 and got their 4th championship.
After winning another championship, the Spurs have become the team to beat. But for the Spurs squad it's another season for improvement and a lot of preparation. This season, the Spurs were cursed with injuries. Ginobili had one which involves his left hand - his shooting hand. Duncan and Parker also had injuries which all happened December of 2007. Good thing Ginobili was there to help in keeping the Spurs alive and win games even with a small equipment attached to his vulnerable left hand. And this year, I really feel that the Ginobili we've known during the 2005 season is back. My goodness, he's been playing exceptional basketball!! Great D, smooth 3's, and all. Watch out for him!