Manu Ginobili fractured the fifth metacarpal in his left hand and he's expected to be out four to six weeks. I got Project Spurs blogger and friend of mine Jeff Garcia to sound off on this. Be sure to stay close to Project Spurs for updates on this and all other things Spurs.
NBAtipoff: What was your initial reaction to Manu's injury?
Jeff: At first I thought he just got a "stinger" but when I saw him double-over, clutching his hand I knew something was wrong. Now that it is a broken hand, I saw the Spurs chances of getting a top-4 seed weaken and another run at title number five in doubt.
NBAtipoff: Does this ruin another title run for the Spurs? Or does it give younger guys a chance to grind through this shortened season? Why or why not?
Jeff: Ruin? No. Puts it in doubt, yes. Let's face it, Manu IS the Spurs. As much as others might say the team still revolves around Duncan, the truth is the Spurs go as far as Manu goes. Case in point, last year's playoff debacle. When Manu was in the game versus the Grizzlies, they won or fought hard. Without him and the Spurs got bounced. Sure it does give the Spurs young guns more run but it's not the same as a healthy Manu. James Anderson will likely get the start while guard Gary Neal will be rushed back from playing in the D-League (assigned to rehab from surgery). Do not be surprised if the Spurs look to the free agent pool for some player to use as a stop gap.
NBAtipoff: What's the positive to take out from this?
Jeff: That it was early in the season, this is a team with Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan (and with those three in the fold, San Antonio should never be counted out) and the Spurs, as a whole, are younger which will help their development which could be beneficial long term.
NBAtipoff: Are you down and out as a fan, or just disappointed the season won't be near as entertaining? Why?
Jeff: I am not "down" more eager to see how this team faces a huge loss. Yes, it does mean the Spurs will drop games without number 20 on the court, but this will be a chance for Duncan to show he has something left in the tank, to see if Parker can up his scoring, and how Popovich will rally the troops.
NBAtipoff: Should the Spurs make a trade or signing to compensate for Ginobili's absence? Why or why not?
Jeff: Right now they have James Anderson, Gary Neal, and Danny Green (who can play the two or three) and that won't be nearly enough to make up for the loss of Manu. There isn't much to pick from but a guy like Acie Law, or Garrett Temple (playing overseas in Italy) who played with the Spurs before might be an option.
As far as a trade, no. Pop and the team will ride out the storm and won't trade. The Spurs are a team that really haven't made many in-season trades in recent history.
Thanks Jeff! Like the Spurs? Project Spurs is the place to go!