He finished the night -- a crazy 129-127 double-overtime San Antonio win -- shooting 5-for-20 from the floor with 16 points in 36 minutes (he also recorded seven rebounds and 11 assists). He was taking ill-advised shots, too, which is something that frustrates Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. This is not something necessarily difficult to do, but it was nevertheless pretty clear to everyone that Pop wasn't enjoying aspects of Manu's Game 1 performance.
But then, of course, with 3.4 seconds left in the second overtime, with the Warriors leading by one, Ginobili went and totally redeemed himself.
Ginobili's rainmaker was the result of a defensive miscue by the Warriors, but also speaks to the veteran's fearlessness and overall magnetism to gigantic playoff moments.
Here's what Popovich had to say about Ginobili's Game 1 heroics and what preceded the game-winner: "I went from trading him on the spot to wanting to cook him breakfast tomorrow. That's the truth."
Popovich added, "I stopped coaching him awhile ago," but in an affectionate, "That's Manu for you, right?" sort of tone. As far as Pop is concerned, for how Ginobili was shooting and choosing shots on Monday, it was the ultimate no-no-no-yes bucket.
Ginobili said in his post-game presser that he "wasn't even an option" on San Antonio's final inbound play. But for Ginobili, it was the playoffs and he was wide open and of course he is going to take that last shot. It's hard to be that surprised, regardless of what happened up until that point, when he is the one who cold-bloodedly knocks in the three-pointer that caps the Spurs' ridiculous Game 1 comeback.
Press conference quotes from NBA.com's live stream.