Manu Ginobil broke a bone in his left hand during the Spurs’ 106-96 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday, and there is no timetable set for his return according to a team release. Just as a reminder, Ginobili is left handed, so this is his shooting hand.
Ginobili suffered the injury on a defensive play, reaching in on a drive from the Wolves’ Anthony Tolliver.
It didn’t look too bad initially, but the hit caused a fracture to the fifth metacarpal, which is the bone just below the pinky finger. Ginobili will be examined further in San Antonio on Tuesday. James Anderson will start in his place.
This is a severe blow to the 3-2 Spurs, as Ginobili leads the team in multiple offensive categories, including scoring at 17.2 points per game, field goal percentage (.592) and three-point field goal percentage (.519). When you add in the fact that Ginobili is fantastic at creating for himself or his teammates off the dribble with the ball in his hands, his contributions will be sorely missed, no matter how long he’s out.
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When you saw the image of Joel Embiid‘s dislocated ring finger facing a direction no finger should face, you knew he was going to miss some time (even though he had it taped up and returned to that game). Embiid had surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament on the ring finger of his left hand. Ultimately he missed nine games while he recovered.
Tuesday night against the Warriors, Embiid will be back.
He will have a soft wrap on his left hand that has been cleared by the league.
Philadelphia went 6-3 while Embiid was out.
Ben Simmons stepped up — in his last five games (before Tuesday) he averaged 24 points a game on 70.6 percent shooting, plus 10 rebounds and 8.6 assists a game. Without Embiid in the paint or taking up touches, Simmons took over the offense and looked much more comfortable in his role.
However, the Sixers’ offensive rating in those nine Embiid-less games was 104.9, 29th in the NBA (even in the last five it was 103.2, still 29th in the league). Simmons may have been playing better but the offense was not.
When Simmons and Embiid share the court this season, their offensive rating is 106.7 — not great, but better than without Embiid playing.
Victor Oladipo returns to Pacers Wednesday, likely off bench with minutes limit
Indiana has gone 30-17 this season and sits as the five seed in the Eastern Conference — and Wednesday they get their best player back.
Victor Oladipo — the former Most Improved Player and All-NBA team member who has been out for most of a year with a right quad tendon rupture — practiced with the Pacers on Tuesday and, as expected, will make his return to the court Wednesday night against the Bulls.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I’m going to be better than I was.
Coach Nate McMillan would not say how he planned to use Oladipo but, considering the minutes limit, off the bench seems the most likely move. McMillan said the team would revisit the minutes and role after the All-Star break.
While Milwaukee has separated itself atop the East, the next five teams — Miami, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Indiana — are all within 2.5 games of each other and could end up in any order. If Oladipo can return close to the All-NBA form he was in prior to his injury, the Pacers become a big threat to break out of that group. If nothing else, they become a much tougher out in the postseason.
Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Wizards (shoulder)