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Manu Ginobili

Thanks to the take down skills of Eduardo Najera, Manu Ginobili will be finishing the 2010 Playoffs with a busted nose. Because basketball is something of a contact sport — especially playoff basketball — the Spurs excellent wing player has been trying different nose-pad styles, all of which are about as aesthetically pleasing as roadkill.

With Ginobili rejecting the idea of wearing a Richard Hamilton-style face mask, those nose pads, which look like super-sized Breath-Rite strips, are about the only protective option he has. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s been working as well as he’s wanted, hence the color changes between Game 4 and 5.

The lead image shows what his nose protection looked like in Game 5. Unfortunately, without the courtesy of a good screenshot, there aren’t any great pictures of Ginobili’s nose guard from last night’s Game 5. Thank goodness for the power of Photoshop, or in the case of this particular blogger, Fireworks (sorry, it’s just a much better web graphics program), because now we have a better idea of what Ginobili’s massive, flesh-colored band-aid looked like.

Manu Ginobili

Unfortunately for Ginobili, that look wasn’t working for him either, because this is how he looked as the game wound down:

Manu Ginobili

I’m guessing he said “To hell with this five pounds of padding and tape on my nose. I can’t ****ing breath.” And so, he removed it. Unfortunately, that didn’t help his nor the Spurs cause against the Mavericks. Besides losing by 22, Manu only finished with seven points on 2-7 shooting. If Ginobili continues to struggle because of his nose, the padding or anything else related, the Spurs could very easily lose whatever control they had over this series, which now stands at 3-2.