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Ginobili out as Spurs’ slide continues; Grizzlies get breathing room

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs stands for the National Anthem before their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The Spurs have been without Tim Duncan for three games with his latest injury. They have now lost all three games after the Grizzlies edged the Spurs 111-104. And while they are 6-4 in their past ten, the slide has been apparent. The Spurs are entering the playoffs neither healthy nor high on momentum.

Add Manu Ginobili to Tim Duncan on the shelf as Ginobili caught a nasty thigh contusion on a Marc Gasol steal and could not return in the second half. From the San Antonio Express-News:

“At first, when I came to the bench, I thought I was going to be OK,” Ginobili said. “Then it stiffened up. I can’t put my full weight on it.”

Ginobili would not rule himself out of Monday’s Portland game, hoping — perhaps against hope — that compression machines on the team’s charter flight home from Memphis would provide adequate healing powers. But he certainly didn’t look like a man less than 24 hours from his next NBA game.

“I’ll get some rest and some treatment, and then we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Ginobili said.


via Spurs Nation » Ginobili’s status in doubt after leg contusion.

The Spurs broke down defensively, especially against the Grizzlies’ bench which dropped 42 points. Granted, the Spurs’ bench landed 48 thanks to George Hill’s 30 points, but the elements are clear. The Grizzlies have some matchup advantages against San Antonio. And if the Spurs don’t figure out their issues in the next two weeks, they’re going to get to see those matchup problems up close and personal. They can blame injuries for the loss to the Grizzlies Sunday night, but Memphis has split the season series.

The Spurs could learn a thing or two from Memphis about getting hot at the right time.