Blog Entry

Manu back, Duncan out against Hawks

Posted on: March 25, 2009 6:26 pm

ATLANTA -- Manu Ginobili will return to the Spurs' lineup Wednesday night against the Hawks after missing 18 games with a stress reaction in his right ankle. Tim Duncan, forced into extended minutes Tuesday night to secure a 1-point victory over Golden State, will get the second night of a back-to-back off to rest his ailing right knee.

The Spurs were 11-7 without Ginobili, whose minutes will be watched closely Wednesday night. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said there's "no sense of relief whatsoever" that Ginobili is back because he doesn't know how the ankle will respond to increased minutes.

"We have no idea if he's well and perfect," Popovich said.

Popovich had planned to limit Duncan's minutes to the teens Tuesday night, but was forced to extend him when the Spurs struggled in another close game. After speaking with the media, Popovich went to the trainer's room to speak with Duncan and emerged to report that he'll sit against the Hawks.

Popovich has rested his star players on and off since just before the All-Star break, but Ginobili's injury has been a legitimate and growing concern. Now, the Spurs have to focus on getting Duncan as healthy as possible for a playoff push.

Duncan has only three 20-point games since the All-Star break, missed three straight games at the end of February, and is unlikely to play both ends of back-to-backs the rest of the way as Popovich stresses health over playoff seeding down the stretch. The Spurs have two more sets of back-to-backs left -- April 7-8 and 12-13 -- as they hope to hang onto no worse than the third seed in the West so they can avoid having to play the Lakers until the conference finals.








Since: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 12:12 am

Manu back, Duncan out against Hawks

Tony has truly stepped it up these last few weeks and if anyone has deserved a pay raise, it's him.  He can compensate for Ginobili.  He can compensate for Duncan.  Heck, tonight's game proved he can compensate for them both simultaneously. 

Pop is smart and Spurs fans trust him.  Sitting Duncan tonight was a smart move, slowly grooving Manu back into the picture is a smart move.  Add to that the transition of Gooden into the starting lineup, and the Spurs are headed for a big payoff come Round 3.  There's nowhere to go from here but up.



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2009 8:52 pm

Manu back, Duncan out against Hawks

A hobbled Spurs team is still better than a lot of other full roster teams.  They're still winning games, and will be a force when they get all the players at one time on the floor. 

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2009 7:50 pm

Manu back, Duncan out against Hawks

 that is great for the spurs, it just says that manu can play,but with no current status to what degree he can play expect him to play limited minutes for now. and hopefully be at 100 percent when playoffs come same goes with duncan. 



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