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Spurs Can Beat Grizzlies Without Manu

By Daniel Strickland on April 14, 2011.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The bad news is that Manu Ginobili, the Spurs leading scorer this season (1393 points in 80 games), is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s Game One against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The good news is that an MRI taken of Manu’s right elbow revealed it is only a sprain and he is already recovering.

If I know Manu, he’ll want to play. If I know Pop, he won’t let him. Ok, I don’t know Manu or Pop, but I think I understand them, so I don’t expect Manu to suit up on Sunday.

For what it’s worth…

The Spurs split the season series with the Grizzlies, beat them twice in SA and lost twice in Memphis. Good thing we have home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

In the two home victories, the Spurs beat the Grizzlies by 6 in OT with Gary Neal, who scored 11, but without George Hill; and won by 7 with George Hill, who scored 14, but without Gary Neal. Ginobili combined for 50 in those two games. Tony Parker combined for 39 in those two games. Without Manu in the lineup, Hill, Neal and Bonner will need to pick up the slack (they combined for 45 in the two home wins).

In the two road losses, the Spurs lost by 16 without Tony Parker; and lost by 7 without Tim Duncan. Hill, Neal and Bonner combined for 23 and 48, respectively, in the two road losses. Their improved production made the second loss much closer. Ginobili scored 9 in the blowout and only 2 in the closer loss.

So, the Spurs can beat the Grizzlies without Manu, but need a good combined performance from Hill, Neal and Bonner.

Vegas has the Spurs by 6 in game one. I think it could be closer than that.

Go Spurs Go!

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