The pity party is over.
The Spurs still don’t know if superstar Kawhi Leonard will be available for Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals series against Golden State on Saturday — Leonard is officially listed as questionable — but the Spurs are no longer going to feel bad for themselves if they’re forced to play without their leading scorer and the league’s two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
“I think we had the game in which we felt sorry for ourselves and struggled mentally, and now it’s over,” Ginobili said of the Spurs’ 136-100 loss to the Warriors in Game 2. “If [Leonard] plays, great. Because we all know what he gives us on the court. If he doesn’t, it’s over and we have to go and compete as hard as we can and do our best game.”
Leonard tweaked his already sprained left ankle in the third quarter of Game 1. Without Leonard on the court, the Warriors used an 18-0 run to overcome a 25-point deficit to win, 113-111. Leonard was also sidelined in Game 2.
That wasn’t the only injury the Spurs were playing through.
They entered the Western Conference Finals without Tony Parker, who sustained a ruptured left quadriceps in Game 2 of their second-round series against Houston.
Ginobili acknowledged that in Game 2 on Tuesday, the Spurs wallowed in their bad luck a bit too much.
“When you are missing your most experienced player and your starting point guard, and then you lose your leading scorer and your go-to guy, and you are coming from losing a game like the one we did, it’s very hard to overcome,” Ginobili said. “It’s not that we are satisfied with that or we feel that we are finding excuses, those are the reasons I find, and I am not proud of it, but that’s over. Now, they beat us both games in their home, and we’ve got to try and come and do the same here.”
After Game 2, Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich said he didn’t think the Spurs believed they could win without Leonard. Headed into Game 3, he said he thinks that’s changed.
“I believe that,” Popovich said.
Ginobili went on to confirm that, saying that the Spurs are going to have a completely different approach in Game 3.
“You hope that [Leonard] is ready and that he can help us,” Ginobili said. “If he doesn’t, we will try to face the game as if it’s a Game 7. We know that going down [0-3] would be really tough to overcome, and Game 3 is huge.”