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Monday, April 23, 2018

Manu Ginobili’s comments after Game 6 suggest Spurs are mentally done

If Manu Ginobili’s comments after the Spurs blew a Game 6 lead to the Miami Heat in the final minute are any indication, then San Antonio won’t have much of a chance to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

The Spurs were so close to winning the NBA championship on Tuesday that losing the game may be too much to overcome. San Antonio was up by five points with 20 seconds left and blew it. Ginobili made a few costly errors in the final minute of the game. Kawhi Leonard only made one of two free throws when the team probably would have won the title had he made both.

Manu GinobiliGinobili was asked after the game to reflect on the defeat, and he sounded defeated.

“It’s a tough moment. We were a few seconds away from winning the championship, and we let it go. A couple of rebounds that we didn’t catch. Tough three by Ray [Allen]. A couple of missed free throws. It’s a very tough moment,” admitted Ginobili.

A game after getting his first start of the season and scoring 24 points with a season-high 10 assists, Ginobili returned to his disappointing Finals form and had nine points and eight turnovers in 35 minutes.

“I had a very good game last game, and today I just couldn’t maintain it. I was very insecure. I had probably a career high in turnovers at a very bad moment. It really helps to make me feel terrible. Even with all that, we were so close to winning it. So it’s one of many things I’ll be thinking tonight.”

Asked how they’ll bounce back for Game 7, Ginobili admitted he had no clue.

“I have no clue how we’re going to be re-energized. I’m devastated. But we have to. There’s no Game 8 afterwards, so we’re going to have to play our best game. Even better than today. Shoot better, better defense, less turnovers. but there’s no secret recipe for bouncing back.”

Some of the other Spurs players who had better games — like Tim Duncan and Danny Green — might have more confidence entering Game 7, but I figure the blown game will stick with Ginobili and possibly Kawhi Leonard. The missed chances will be too much for them to overcome. How often does a team blow a championship and bounce back to win it? It’s infrequent.

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