Manu Ginobili to miss Spurs season opener with back pain

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This is not the way the San Antonio Spurs want to start the season.

Manu Ginobili will not travel with the Spurs to New Orleans for the season opener due to ongoing back issues, reports Mike Monroe of the Express-News. Ginobili’s back will be reassessed on Thursday. Which implies this could last a while longer, which isn’t a shock as Ginobili has battled back spasms for a long time.

With Ginoblili out look for a lot more Stephen Jackson in the Spurs lineup, with some Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green also.

Some teams struggle when key players get injured, but the Spurs aren’t one. They’ve played a lot without Manu over the past few seasons, they trust the system and know how to win without him. They have won a lot without him.

And that kind of structure and comfort within it is something hard for young teams like the Hornets to deal with.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.

Dirk Nowitzki walks on All-Star court, quickly splashes three threes

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Dirk Nowitzki shouldn’t retire after this season.

Added to the All-Star Game by Commissioner Adam Silver (along with Dwyane Wade) in what is expected to be the final season for the future Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man of all time showed he still has the touch. Entering the game midway through the first quarter, Nowitzki proceeded to quickly splash a couple of threes.

And he was not done yet.

Nowitzki never officially said he was retiring….

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws himself alley-oop on free throw… that obviously doesn’t count (video)

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CHARLOTTE – It’s an All-Star game, but you still can’t do that. A free throw that doesn’t hit rim is a violation, and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly crossed the line early, too:

He was clearly going for levity, and at least he accomplished that.