The Spurs played their regular starting lineup in their season finale against the Suns on Wednesday, after resting four of the five in the team’s game the night before in Los Angeles. Two minutes and 14 seconds into the game, it’s quite possible Gregg Popovich may have regretted that decision.
Manu Ginobili went down hard after colliding with Grant Hill, and stayed down while clearly in pain and clutching his right elbow. Ginobili remained lying on the court through a full timeout, while a member of the team’s medical staff attended to the injury.
Ginobili briefly headed to the team’s bench, before heading back to the locker room. After further examination, the team announced that Ginobili’s injury is a hyperextended right elbow, with X-rays negative, and an MRI scheduled for Thursday when the team returns to San Antonio.
The decision to play the starters in the Spurs’ final game is mildly questionable, because if the team truly had its eyes on the league’s best record, it wouldn’t have rested its stars Tuesday against the Lakers. But having a final tune-up before the postseason with the number one unit is as good a reason as any, and Popovich, being one of the league’s most tenured and well-respected coaches, clearly knows the risks.
Just as we did with Andrew Bynum’s knee injury on Tuesday, we’ll hope for the best for Ginobili, and that he’ll be able to be back at 100 percent and ready to go when the playoffs begin this weekend.