|Team: Spurs College Team: Spurs|
H: 6' 6"|
W: 210 lbs
(39 Years Old)
|Agent: Herb Rudoy |
Hometown: Bahia Blanca, Argentina
Drafted: Pick 57 in 1999 by Spurs
Overview: A left-handed shooting guard who is deceptively athletic and tremendously skilled. One of the best all-around players in the league at his position. Easily the biggest steal of all-time in the draft considering where he was selected—57th! Decent build for his position. Really gets the most out of his athleticism. Has a nice first step, superb fluidity and surprising leaping ability. Possesses a great offensive skill set. Can score in a number of different ways thanks to his terrific body control, but does so efficiently. Plays good defense too. One of the craftiest players in the League. Honed his craft in Argentina in his youth, but became what he is playing in Italy before coming to the NBA. Used his experience to his advantage and became a very good player early in his tenure with the Spurs. One time All-Star. Comes off the bench despite his status as a star player. Very effective when used in that way. Per-minute one of the best players in the NBA. Doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how good he is. Keeps getting better and better too. Took time to develop the trust of his coaching staff, but is arguably San Antonio’s most important player now. A phenomenal teammate, has no ego--intangibles are off the charts. Won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Offense: A dynamic offensive player who makes a huge impact off the bench. Gets a third of his shots running the pick and roll and another quarter as a spot up shooter. Displays a very consistent lefty jumper with impressive consistency from three point range. Wasn’t always as great of a shooter, but has worked extremely hard to become one. Takes a lot of threes. Great catch and shoot player. Takes more shots off the dribble than from a stand still. Connects at a respectable pace. Great ball handler and a tremendous passer. Can get minutes at the point and run the offense. Displays deceptive quickness, and even more deceptive leaping ability. Turns the corner on the pick and roll consistently, and gets in the lane at a very impressive rate. Slithery player who is as unorthodox as they come. Simply outsmarts his competition. Will dunk the ball at the rim, hard, and even in traffic when he gets a running start. Very creative when he can’t get above the rim. Displays tremendous touch on his finger roll. Will go right into the defense to draw contact. Goes to the line at a superb rate. Shoots a very good percentage from the foul line. Extremely efficient player in general.
Defense: An extremely intelligent defender who reads the game and makes plays because of it. Plays aggressive on ball defensive. Gets in a low stance and slides his feet. Will get called for some blocking fouls, but will also draw a ton of charges. Largely considered a flopper, but he certainly knows how to make an impact with that skill. Reads passing lanes extremely well. Gets a lot of strips and deflections. Will block shots in transition too. Surprisingly explosive when he comes over from the weak side. Very good rebounder for his position. Not afraid to get physical.
Despite initially deciding to leave the Argentinean national team for what became a two year absence from international play following their Olympic triumph in Athens, Ginobili is back in his native country’s uniform, claiming that he “missed playing for the national team.”
No other player in this tournament is more important to his team’s chances besides possibly Dirk Nowitzki to Germany, not just for what he brings on the court, but what he brings off it. The same things that make Ginobili one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA—2nd amongst NBA guards in points per shot—also make him one of the best teammates anyone can ask for, as the San Antonio Spurs would readily tell you.
He has outstanding leadership skills and is incredibly unselfish with the way he creates shots for others, not to mention one of the highest basketball IQ’s of any player in the world. Being more than just a fantastic passer and shot-creator, Ginobili is one of the most unique and entertaining players the World Championship organizers could have asked for, and his presence along with his fantastic set of role-playing teammates make Argentina one of the leading favorites to come away with the gold when taking their chemistry and sheer talent into consideration.
Ginobili is first and foremost a slasher. His outstanding first step and ball-handling skills make him a threat to break defenses down off the dribble unexpectedly and finish with creative lefty flair amongst the trees. He gets to the free throw line at will and has the court vision to make breathtaking passes in the rare occasion that knifing through the lane is not quite an option.
What will be interesting to see is how he adjusts to the different style of refereeing in international play, where hand-checking is more tolerated and slashing guards in his mold don’t have the same built in advantage as they do in the NBA. The good news for Argentina is that Manu has quietly become an effective 38% shooter from behind the NBA arc, which makes him even tougher to guard when considering the fact that he’ll be shooting the equivalent of mid-range jumpers for his International 3-point attempts. This ability to hit long range will be tested by his opponents, but if an open shot isn’t there, don’t expect Manu to try and force things.
To further emphasize the talent gap he enjoys over almost every player here in Japan, we must mention his outstanding perimeter defense, having the quickness to stay in front of any guard at this level, the tenacity to make this a point of emphasis and the savvy to know how to step in and take the charge/flop if his matchup tries to over-penetrate.
This championship will be a great opportunity for Ginobili to show the world that he can be a legit go-to guy without the presence of a player in the mold of Tim Duncan, but he will hardly do it on his own, having to rely heavily on the inside presence of Luis Scola and Fabricio Oberto as well as the playmaking skills of Pablo Prigioni and Pepe Sanchez.