We would never wish a lasting injury on any players, however the Lakers could have done without two weeks of Manu Ginobili.
The 35-year-old guard has battled leg injuries throughout the entire season, yet did not miss a beat in his return following a nine-game absence due to a strained hamstring.
Naturally San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich was concerned with how the prized sixth man would feel following his first 18 minutes back.
“I’m feeling good,” he said Monday. “I’m a little tired, of course, playing after such a long time, but I didn’t play that much, either. I feel real good.”
This, while at least good from an entertainment standpoint, will not bode well for the Lakers moving forward.
Because while Ginobili averaged a pedestrian 11 points on 32 percent shooting in his two regular season meetings with the Lakers. He markedly improved to the tune of 19 points on 46 percent shooting in game 1.
At this point, Ginobili’s minutes will only trend upward – as will his production. He’ll be a thorn in the side of the Lakers for games to come.
Welcome back, nevertheless.