It was a beautiful sight to see. After struggling through injuries and a big slump, Manu Ginobili returned to form just in time to lead the Spurs to a Game 1 victory.
Ginobili had 18 points in 19 minutes off the bench, including a dagger pull-up three-pointer that seemingly came out of nowhere. The Spurs are surely hoping this is the return of Manu and he’s back to his old self, but Coach Gregg Popovich is still a little cautious about his health.
"It was great to have Manu back,” Coach Pop said. “He does what he does. He makes big shots. He creates problems for the opponent and he's got a great will, a great desire. I'll worry all night about how he'll feel in the morning. If he says he feels great, then that will be a good sign for our team."
The Spurs get a nice extra day off to rest up and prepare for Wednesday night’s Game 2 against Los Angeles. Even after a strong showing from the team to kick off the series, they surely want to make sure they can keep their foot on the gas and head to L.A. with a 2-0 lead.
For Ginobili, hopefully Game 1 was a sign of things to come. The Spurs did seem to somehow flip some magical switch and forget the past couple weeks had ever happened, but injuries can linger and return. It’d be nice if Manu can put it all behind him and continue to contribute like the Manu we’re all used to.