Matchup of the Game: Spurs vs. Timberwolves


The matchup of the game in the last game of the season for the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves will be between Manu Ginobili and Ricky Rubio.

This will be Ginobili's return game from a hamstring injury that's plagued him these past few weeks. He'll likely come off the bench to continue his role as the Spurs' sixth man, but he should see a good amount of minutes to get him conditioned for the first round of the playoffs. He'll be matched up against Ricky Rubio, who's the starting combo guard for the Wolves. Both men have a similar game of pick and roll attacks coupled with flashy Top 10 worthy passes. Don't expect anything less from Rubio and Ginobili, who'll be looking to get into rhythm with the playoffs approaching.

What Ginobili must do on offense:

While Manu Ginobili is likely to not be anywhere near playing condition, he'll have to get used to playing alongside big men such as Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and others. Duncan setting Ginobili up with screens for a pick and roll or pop will give Manu some looks on the court. Ginobili is shooting just 34% (55-164) from above the arc and this is an area to his game he needs to improve. With Kawhi Leonard becoming comfortable at the corner 3-point line, Ginobili getting comfortable and making his wing 3-point shots will be crucial down the stretch for the playoffs and this game will be a good time for him to tune up his rhythm.

What Ginobili must do on defense:

The majority of Rubio's shots come from mid range or from driving to the basket. In his last game against the Spurs, he looked unstoppable. The team needs to go with the same mentality of having him trying to beat the Spurs by himself. He's only shooting 15% (5-34) from beyond the arc, 15% (5-34) from the 3-point line, and and 14% (3-22) from the paint that's not the restricted area. Ginobili has to remember his hot spots and push him to his colder spots on the floor. If Rubio is force to beat the Spurs by shooting the ball, there won't be time or situations where he'll be passing the ball to open teammates, his strength on the basketball court. If the Spurs force him to shoot, this will also keep the Wolves' best shooters cold throughout the night.