Some wondered why he didn’t retire. Others thought he simply stunk up the place during the series. The final result, the final play and the memes tell a different story: Manu Ginobili was the hero for the San Antonio Spurs when they needed him the most, in this case to block James Harden.
Ginobili, having an atrocious series in what is once again is projected to be one final run in the playoffs for the future hall of famer, woke up in game 5 to deliver a vintage performance. He delivered the best dunk of the game, the best assist of the game and eventually the biggest block and play of the game.
The Spurs missed out on a win when Patty Mills buzzer-beating effort did land in the basket, but it went in just outside regulation. The Spurs had no Kawhi Leonard for overtime, which is a different kind of worry. But nothing to worry about – Danny Green and Ginobili made up for it.
Ginobili played incredible defense on the final possession when the Rockets tried to end a 3-point lead. James Harden pulled up for the three, Ginobili went in for the risky block and stopped him cleanly, all ball on the block. The Spurs ended up winning, going up 3-2 in the conference semifinals. Yes, it might all be for naught once (if) they meet the Warriors, but the playoffs are always about more than one series or game, and these moments of heroism help build a legacy or add to one that’s already great.