Jan 13, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT
The San Antonio Spurs have the Western Conference’s best record and are trying very hard to get even better right now.
But their latest news has them going in the opposite direction.
Spurs guard Danny Green underwent an exam on Monday in San Antonio that included both an X-ray and an MRI on his left hand. Results revealed he has a nondisplaced fracture of his second metacarpal. Green suffered the injury in the first half of the Spurs-Timberwolves game on Sunday night. He is expected to miss approximately four weeks.
Manu Ginobili has missed the last couple games with hamstring tightness, but as long as he returns soon, San Antonio will be more than fine at shooting guard. Ginobili is having a renaissance year, and Marco Belinelli is playing the best basketball of his career, even replacing Green in the starting lineup for a while.
Ginobili’s and Belinelli’s playing time has been rising at the expense of Green’s. Here’s the cumulative minutes per game of Ginobili (black), Belinelli (silver) and Green (pink) throughout the season:
For those who haven’t paid attention to the Spurs since the NBA Finals, when Green made 27-of-49 3-pointers, that hot streak proved unsustainable. Green has made just 38.4 percent of his 3-pointers this season, an above-average mark but not an elite one for a player whose top skill is outside shooting.
Belinelli, on the other hand, has made 62-of-124 3-pointers this season. Making half his shots beyond the arc might be unsustainable for the career-39.8 percent 3-point shooter, but that’s why Green providing depth will help the Spurs in the long run.
But they should get by without him in the short run, because their other shooting guards are playing so well.