Spurs notebook

Manu Ginobili’s struggles against the Heat a concern for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

 
WEB VOTE What best explains the Heat’s 109-93 rout of the Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals?

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday he is concerned about the ongoing struggles of guard Manu Ginobili.

“Of course I am,” he said. “He’s having a tough playoffs. He hasn’t found a rhythm or found his game yet. He’s obviously not as confident as usual. He knows full well he hasn’t performed the way he would like or the way he used to.”

But Popovich added: “It’s simplistic to say: ‘What are you going to do to get him going?’ He’s either going to get himself going or he won’t. He knows he has to play better for us to be successful.”

Ginobili scored five points on 1-for-5 shooting in 25 minutes in Game 4. He is averaging just 7.5 points in the series on 34.5 percent shooting, well below his regular-season numbers of 11.8 points and 42.5 percent accuracy.

“Yes, I am surprised,” said Ginobili, whose playoff averages have dipped to the lowest points since his rookie season in 2002-03 (10.6 points, 37.7 percent shooting).

“I wish I could score more, but it’s not happening. I have to do other stuff. … I don’t have to force the issue.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan said Ginobili, who has 12 assists and seven turnovers in the Finals, “is trying to be incredibly unselfish right now. We need him to be a little more aggressive, be a little more selfish.”

What is the Heat doing effectively against him?

“I don’t know if we’re doing anything,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Sometimes, it’s just make or miss, to be quite frank. We’ve always looked at him very similar to Dwyane Wade. What makes him most dangerous is the unpredictability, to do things on the court that aren’t necessarily scripted.”

PARKER’S HEALTH

Spurs point guard Tony Parker said he felt fatigued during the second half of Game 4 — among the reasons why he went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting after a 15-point first half — and that his hamstring injury, sustained in Game 3, still is not 100 percent.

“It was kind of weak,” Parker said after Game 4. “But overall, I’m just happy I didn’t make it worse. That was the goal, to try not to get hurt, because [Popovich] was not really happy. I wanted to play and took a little risk.”

Popovich said Friday that Parker is “fine.” Neither the Heat nor the Spurs practiced Friday.

• After finishing with four turnovers in the first game, the Spurs have committed 49 in the past three games, including 19 in Game 4.

“Since [the opener] we’ve been plagued, largely because of their outstanding defense,” Popovich said. “We’ve allowed it to happen by playing in a crowd and not moving the ball expeditiously.”

• Of the previous 27 Finals that were tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 20 times.

•  Danny Green, who has made 19 of 28 three-point attempts in the series, is within three of Ray Allen’s record for most threes ever in an NBA Finals.

State of COACHING

Popovich and Spoelstra opined Friday on the fact that there have been a record 12 NBA coaching changes since the season ended.

Popovich said, “one might surmise that some owners think it’s easier than it really is. Some owners become frustrated. Some even take it personally, almost like a little bit of an embarrassment. [Some] have a hard time understanding this business. Change, change, change doesn’t really work.”

Spoelstra said: “It’s a terrible state for the profession right now. We see it differently, the San Antonio and Miami Heat organizations. [For] success, you must have consistency of culture. To see that type of turnover over and over, it’s impossible to create any type of sustainable culture. I’m grateful our organization doesn’t behave in that manner.”

Spoelstra added: “I would hope when someone turns on a Heat game, the ultimate compliment is it looks like a Pat Riley-coached team: tough, competitive, defensive-minded, disciplined.”

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