Manu Opts out of 2016-2017 Contract

Manu Ginobili met today’s deadline and announced that he will opt out of his 2016-2017 $2.94 million contract and enter free agency.

The reason behind Ginobili’s decision is unknown. In the past, and a recurring theme for players around the league, players have chosen to decline their player options in order to increase their salary or at least see what their team will offer them. 

Ginobili’s motivation might be a little different. As other Spurs players have done in the past, Ginobili may be looking to decrease his pay in order for the Spurs to have more money to spend on other prospects. Tim Duncan took significant paycuts in his previous two contracts, going from the 3rd highest paid player in the league to the 4th highest-paid Spur.

Ginobili may also be waiting to see what changes the Spurs are looking to make this offseason. Fellow veteran Duncan has a June 29th deadline to exercise his player option for next year. 

Although the two experienced major playtime cuts last season, the possibility remains that they could come back in even more limited roles for at least one more season. 

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My 5 Keys to Tonight’s Spurs Win

 

┬ęSpurs Talk

 
As every Spurs fan sits in anticipation for tonight’s big game, I came up with a list of keys to tonight’s Spurs win. Notice how I said win? 

1) Box out and dominate the boards

The Spurs, athletic and capable as they are, have looked lackadaisical and lazy on rebounding at both ends of the court. I know they can do better and in order to win, they must do better. My solution to this problem is to utilize Boris Diaw, a rebounding machine, and Boban Marjanovic in order to get multiple shot opportunities on offense and decrease the Thunder’s second chance opportunities by racking in defensive boards. 

2) Take the ball to the paint

While the Spurs have obviously become one of the best perimeter teams in the league, depending on outside shots just isn’t smart enough. As efficient as he is at the 15-footer, I much rather would have seen Tony Parker drive it to the lane in game 5 when the Spurs had the chance to take the lead late in the game. It’s all about mental toughness and getting over the fact that you might get banged up. I want to see all of the Spurs driving into the lane more often than they have the rest of this series. I believe getting points in the paint will be a huge key to winning tonight’s game. 

3) Change the starting lineup

Gregg Popovich is well known for his last minute changes and experimentation in highly-anticipated situations. Game 6 of Spurs versus Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference Finals is just one example. During that game, Popovich switched up the starting lineup by putting in Matt Bonner at center instead of the regular starter, Tiago Splitter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar change tonight, in fact, I would welcome the switch. The only question is, who would be the option? In my opinion, I’d like to see Boris Diaw at the start. Getting those early rebounds would be a good jump start to an early advantage.

4) More Patty Mills!

Patty Mills was commended for his defensive effort against Russell Westbrook in 2014’s game 6 and I’d like to see that again. I also think the Spurs could use that spark off the bench that Patty is known to give. One of my most trusted players when down late in the game, Patty always seem cool and eager to do whatever it takes to bring home a win. 

5) MAKE FREE THROWS

This pretty much speaks for itself. The Spurs have missed too many free throws throughout this series, especially late in games. Solution? Just make them. 

Overall, the Spurs still have a good chance at winning tonight and taking this series to a game seven. I expect higher intensity from the Spurs and a stronger drive. This team has had a record year and they’re so deep. They need to prove themselves and I believe they can and will. Go Spurs Go! 

Why the Spurs loss to the Warriors isn’t all that bad

┬ęSan Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs suffered a 112-101 loss against the Golden State Warriors in a most-anticipated preview of a potential Western Conference Finals matchup last night in Oracle Arena. 
The second loss the Spurs suffered in Oakland this session also came on the day the Warriors clinched the top spot in the conference and reached the coveted 70-win mark. Seventy wins in a season is quite the feat, but in order to set a new league record, the Warriors must win all three of their remaining games. 
All of what’s stated above you all already know. I’m not going to keep stating what’s already know. That’s not why I’ve written this post. Instead, once again, I’m here to provide sanity to Spurs fans everywhere by letting you all know, the Spurs are doing just fine. Just keep calm, and believe in your team! 
Now, I’m the first to admit that I wanted a different outcome last night. Of course, I’d love to see the silver and black tearing up the court like I know they can. I would’ve been thrilled to see the best defense in the league that was visible in the last Warriors/Spurs meeting. It also would’ve made me happy if our guys had made their free-throws, had been more consistent on field goals, and sunk a few more threes than they did last night. 
I’m sure all fans will agree with me when I say that the Spurs did not play their best game. Is that a good enough excuse when playing against a possible WCF opponent? No! Of course it isn’t! Still, there are a few obvious reasons this game played out as it did and let me explain why.
First, Boris Diaw is a force to be reckoned with. Whether his impact comes from his much-appreciated points in the paint, especially off second chance opportunities, or his defensive prowess against any defender, the Spurs definitely missed Boris last night. He played a critical role in the March 19 win especially on defense. Single handedly, his presence will impact Sunday’s meeting, and those in the playoffs, in favor of the Spurs. 
Second, the Warriors played like there was no tomorrow. I’m assuming they did this in order to reach win #70. Or, maybe the reason 4 out of the 5 Warriors’ starters played 30+ minutes was to stay on track to beat the 1995-96 Bull’s 72-10 record. Whatever the case, they didn’t want to spare even their best player. Steph Curry played 36 minutes while his sidekick, Klay Thompson, played 35. For a team that led most of the game, a lead as big as 20 points at one point, they sure didn’t want to rest their stars. 
Third, this loss gave the Spurs what they need. With an opportunity to do what no team has ever done in NBA history, the Spurs have the chance to go undefeated at home. They will play the Warriors on Sunday at 6 p.m. in their penultimate home game. Last night’s game will motivate the guys to prove themselves against the Warriors in a way that I’m not so sure would have happened if they had won last night. 
Can they do it? Of course they can. They know they can. They know they can beat the Warriors, they know how to do it, and they know what adjustments must be made. Sunday’s game will interesting and exciting, for sure. After Sunday, the Spurs take on the Thunder on Tuesday in a final regular season home game. 
Now, I would like to leave you with a quote by the rebound NBA Hall of Fame center, Shaquille O’Neal: 

“Pop plays chess, not checkers.”
This chess match is definitely one for the ages. GO SPURS GO!