Despite coming to end the third quarter, this was the key run that blew the game open and essentially sealed the Spurs’ Game 1 win over the Lakers.
L.A. had managed to hang around within a manageable seven or eight points most of the afternoon, but then Manu Ginobili got loose for eight points in a span of just over a minute and a half that pushed San Antonio’s lead from seven to 13 entering the fourth period.
You can see it unfold beginning at the 48-second mark in the video clip above. Ginobili starts by executing a nice two-man game with DeJuan Blair that ends with him converting a left-handed runner over Pau Gasol, before then connecting on two three-pointers in transition, both of which were absolute daggers.
Ginobili finished with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, in just 19 minutes of action.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’