Manu Ginobili: I want to be in the Finals, Manu reports

With the Bulls locked in a tight battle with the Spurs, Manus Ginobilic is taking it upon himself to remind everyone that he is the player who deserves the title.

Ginobili, who has been the Bulls leading scorer since the All-Star break, has averaged 25.9 points, 5.7 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game in the first three games of the season, including a triple-double in the Bulls win over the Grizzlies on Monday.

He also led the Bulls to a 102-93 win over New Orleans on Sunday and had a career-high 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 103-98 win over Denver on Thursday.

Ginslips, however, is having to prove himself against one of the NBA’s best centers in Pau Gasol.

In a matchup of the best centers, the former UCLA star has been outscoring Gasol 38-26 over the last three games.

Gasol has been averaging 17.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks per game, while shooting 42.8 percent.GINSLIP, WHO HAS BEEN OUTSPREAD TO LENGTHY DURATION, ISSUES WITH OUTCOME GAMES, SAYS MARTIN, WHO’S GOING FORWARD TO START NEXT SEASON article In the last eight games, Gasol is averaging 24.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.5 blocks per contest.

Ginobli has been a big reason why Gasol’s numbers have been trending upward.

The 27-year-old has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games and has scored at least 20 points in three straight games.

He has scored a team-high 18.6 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting in the last two games.

The Bulls’ defensive woes are also a big factor in their success in games against Gasol and the Spurs.

In the last five games against the Spurs that they have played, the Bulls are holding opponents to an average of 106.8 passing points per 100 possessions and shooting 50.5 percent from the field.

The Bulls have shot 38.7 percent from three-point range in the three games they have faced Gasol, who averages 18.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

In their two matchups against the Bulls this season, the Spurs are allowing an average 116.1 points per contest and shooting 48.3 from the floor.

The team is allowing the Bulls only 51.5 points per possession in the two games, including 40.4 from the free-throw line.