Allen questions Ginobili’s elbow injury

By Mike Monroe

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Never one to shy away from controversy, Memphis guard Tony Allen on Sunday accused Manu Ginobili of faking his well-documented elbow injury.

“It’s for the birds,” Allen said. “Everybody is banged up. You don’t see me running to my PR guy telling him about an injury.”

Ginobili sprained his right elbow in the season finale at Phoenix and missed Game 1. Forced to wear an uncomfortable brace during Games 2 and 3 against the Grizzlies, he seemed bemused by Allen’s allegation.

“That’s his opinion,” Ginobili said. “I really don’t care. I would love to not play with that brace. In previous years, we’ve had some pretty good runs without an elbow brace.”

Allen gave Ginobili a hard foul in the third quarter of Saturday’s Game 3, landing on top of him following a drive to the basket by the Spurs guard.

“There was a little incident there where I felt it,” Ginobili said. “But I’ve been through it. It was frustrating for a couple minutes, but then I got better for the last quarter, so no big deal.”

The brace, Ginobili said, has affected his free-throw stroke. An 87-percent foul shooter during the regular season, he has made only 19 of 27 in the series.

“Basically (it affects) my free throws more than during the game, when I have more time to think, and I feel it,” he said. “During the course of the game, I don’t feel it.”

McDyess ready to go: Power forward Antonio McDyess had an uncomfortable night after Game 3, trying to sleep sitting upright to minimize pain from a neck strain he suffered in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.

When he woke up Sunday, he was stunned by how good he felt.

“I feel a whole lot better,” he said. “If you had asked me that last night, I couldn’t have told you that.”

McDyess’ left arm had gone completely numb after Tim Duncan inadvertently elbowed him during a scrum for a rebound. Medication and rest worked wonders, and McDyess declared himself a definite participant for Game 4.

“No question,” he said. “If we would have had the game (Sunday), I’d be able to play.”

Playing percentages: Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is unimpressed by the supposed edge his team has with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, warning against the presumption that a Game 4 win would make his team favorites to close it out.

Informed that 76 percent of NBA teams that had a 3-1 lead in best-of-7 series had gone on to win, Hollins did some quick math.

“You’ve still got 24 percent that don’t,” he said.

What a feeling: As the only player from the Grizzlies teams that had gone 0-12 in the club’s previous playoff games, forward Shane Battier said the feeling in FedEx Forum was utterly different than it had been before.

“Last night, it was ‘maybe, maybe’” he said. “That hope is pretty inspiring.”

Express-News staff writer Jeff McDonald contributed to this report.

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