The 4-Down Podcast, episode 27: Zach Lowe of The Point Forward

by

Are you tired of hearing about the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks? I thought Zach Lowe might. Zach heads up Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward NBA blog and is a former writer for ESPN TrueHoop Network site CelticsHub.

I figured Zach’s been writing enough about the Heat and Mavs the last few weeks that he’d be itching to chat about the Spurs and his Celtics. Unfortunately, I ran into a few snags getting things started and this week’s podcast is shorter than normal. We recorded before tip-off of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so we were on a bit of a time crunch.

Luckily, 15 minutes or so from Zach is exactly the quality you would expect if you’ve been reading The Point Forward this season. Zach and I chatted about how long teams should hold on to hopes of contending for titles with older cores and if the NBA is a young player’s league or a veteran’s league. Lowe also gives us his quick thoughts on the Finals before Game 1 started.

Apologies for the shorter episode this week, but we should be back on track next week.

Subscribe to the 4-Down Podcast via iTunes. Or you can can keep up using the RSS feed. You can also download the audio file (18:10, 25 mb) or listen below.  Whatever you do, please leave us good feedback and ratings in iTunes, I hear that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days.

  • Phife

    “…figure out how to not have Matt Bonner guarding a center in the playoffs.” – :(

  • Phife

    “…figure out how to not have Matt Bonner guarding a center in the playoffs.” – :(

  • Pingback: Spurs Nation » Blog brother jumps to Richard Jefferson’s defense()

  • Hicksy

    how to not have Matt Bonner PERIOD!!!

  • Rob

    Spurs were one injury to a key player, one legitimate b/u wing and one defensive big short of being set to go all the way last year.

    Injuries one can’t know when they will happen and if they happen to one of your top two players on the team…that team would be hard pressed to make it through the playoffs.

    I don’t think the Spurs need to blow the team up. But in order to have a chance to win it all they are going to have to make at least one savy deal via trade AND get lucky during free agency.  Hopefully with the bevy of SF’s available this free agency the Spurs might get lucky in getting one of those players and via trade get the type of big man they’ll need to compliment Splitter and Duncan.  Bonner and Blair are not, will not be, post players any team should be playing more than 10 minutes a game.

  • Bry

    I agree. I think everyone has hit the panic button and say the Spurs are done just because they had one bad series (that they easily could have won) when Ginobili had a broken arm. Splitter’s minutes will jump up next season, and hopefully Bonner’s will drop. I’m one of the few people who doesn’t want to get rid of Bonner. The guy gets a bad rap. The problem isn’t having him (he only makes 3 million per year, which is quite low) it’s that he plays too many minutes. He and Blair are solid bench players, and I’m quite happy with them being part of the rotation. I just don’t like them playing heavy minutes. They’ve got to either develop Splitter into starter minutes, or pick-up one or two new players at the 3 and 4 positions.

  • Hunter

    Get rid of Bonner. There is definently trade value there. I say either unload them and their massive contracts for draft picks or sign and trade for a wing such as Caron Butler or Nene. And we need samuel Dalembert or andre Kirilenko, Either or, depending on what we do with Jefferson/bonner. we could possibly add blair or george hill in the said trade. This better happen we need to unload jefferson and sign some free agents

  • Sam

    Exactly what I was thinking, I completely agree.

  • Sam

    So on another note who should the Spurs draft? Should they move up via trade? I would LOVE to have Chris Singleton but there’s no way hes falling to us unless he has no cartilage in his knees. How about JaJuan Johnson from Purdue. Athletic big man who can score and plays decent defense. Thoughts?

  • Hunter

    Theres this center from USC, Nikola Packovich (i could have the wrong name) But hes from USC hes 7’0 260 anreaged 18 points 13 reboulds and 1-2 blocks per game last season

  • idahospur

    Spurs won’t give up any valuable chips to move up in the trade. The question to be asked, can Ryan Richards play better defense than Bonner? If so, sign him up now, or when the agreement takes place.

  • Sam

    Nikola Vucevic lol he’s pretty good but he reminds me too much of Tiago.

  • Tyler

    Bonner has very little trade value. He’s a one dimensional, system-based player with no upside who still has 3 years left on his contract. He has very little value (if any) as a trade “asset”.
    I read this same argument under each post and it boggles my mind every time I read it. George Hill has value – he’s young, has some upside and he’s cheap. Same with Blair, Tiago, and Anderson. Bonner? Not so much.

  • Bry

    You’re still missing my point. Getting rid of Bonner makes no sense unless you get something valuable in return. All that does is weaken your bench. He makes 3 million. Salaries need to match roughly in trades, so what do you think you are going to get in return that helps the team? Chiming away about how we “need to get rid of” a player who is good in the locker and doesn’t make much money is pretty pointless. If you combine him with Jefferson, then yes, you could get back some serious talent in return. But, when in the world would some NBA team give us serious talent for a role player and an overpaid SF coming off the worst two seasons of his career? Like I keep saying. It’s easy to just say “get rid of that guy”. It’s a lot harder to advocate FEASIBLE moves that will make the Spurs better next year.

  • Bry

    I have no idea who they will grab. For the past three or four years it’s been nearly impossible to know who they are targeting (mostly because they draft so late and go after some dark horses). They only time you could see it coming was with Blair, because he had been so dominant in college and was inexplicably still on the board in the second round. But even then it took about ten or eleven teams to take a bad pass for the Spurs strategy to finally become predictable. Basically, because they never get top-20 picks in the Duncan era, he was the last No-brainer Spurs pick.

  • Len

    Contending teams that are desperate for scoring could be a trade partner for Boner.  I’m thinking specifically of da Bulls.  I know they were in the bidding for Matty last summer and they are desperate for scoring.  How desperate?  Not sure but RC should give Paxson a call this summer.

  • Len

    Not to mention Chicago is desperate for a SG and the Spurs have a stockpile of those.  I would love to see Taj Gibson or Omar Asik playing for the silver & black next year.

  • Len

    Boner, Blair & Hill for Asik, Gibson & Brewer just off the top of my head.

  • Sam

    I like that deal. Instant defense and energy off the bench. Works for Chicago too they get George Hill to play his natural position at sg and get another 3pt threat and a hustle guy off the bench. One problem: salaries don’t match. The Spurs would have to have $1,500,000  cut off from the salaries. Would it be possible to give Mcdyess instead of Bonner? They could get cap relief from Mcdyess’ retirement so they could sign a decent free agent. If not we could add a 3rd team in the trade.

  • Tyler

    Umm…..I’ll take another Tiago…..last time I checked, wasn’t that a need?

  • Tyler

    Umm…..I’ll take another Tiago…..last time I checked, wasn’t that a need?

  • Hunter

    We could possibly resign steve novak or another low minute role player to make the salaries match

  • Hunter

    Salaries also dont have to match if draft picks are involved so jefferson straight up for a  1st rounder works out. Gets rid of cap and gives us a draft pick to work with

  • Tyler

    Only works if the team absorbing Jefferson (or whoever) has room under the cap. Very few teams will realistically be that far under the cap, and they definitely wouldn’t use it on a player like RJ.

  • Sam

    http://www.projectspurs.com/2011-articles/june/spurs-to-build-via-trade.html
    Pretty big news. This is something the Spurs don’t usually do so it will be interesting.

  • Mark B

    Well, for anyone who thought Mahinmi could play a major role anytime soon, his performance in Game 3 of the finals should have settled it.  Not to say he might eventually work his way into being a decent bench player, but he just gets torched by good players.

  • Easy B

    @a8e1425c18bce053363b8da47b927f93:disqus . I hope that is the case. The spurs aren’t quite ready to rebuild, but need some serious tweaking if they are to have a chance at at getting back to the WCF’s. If we buy in for a minute that Tony is one of the 3 untouchables, then I would hazzard to guess that one or more of RJ, Blair, Anderson, and maybe Hill and Bonner are top of the availability list. I would think they would be smart to keep Hill if they have Tony and Manu stay, because although not ideal as point, and a little short a the 2, he can play both positions.
    RJ is replaceable, and they are not getting enough value for money there. Maybe phoenix, portland or other will take him….sides with a pass first point. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind an offense that suits his skills better either.
    Blair has some tools, but could go to a team that has mobile scoring 4’s and could use a rebounder off the bench. I would be happy to see him get another year in SA though.
    Anderson is all promise and not enough court time….so could go if the right type of player came in return.
    If Bonner is to stay, the spurs need to change their offense somewhat, as teams have caught up to them in defending the 3pt line, and he will need more time to shoot if he is to keep his percentages up next season.
    Despite all these reasons, I would lean towards trading Hill and Jefferson for a young good sized wing and an expensive, yet useful vet big.
    I’m not sure if Iguodala would be more of what RJ brings, but an upgrade…but I have the feeling he would be a good compliment to Manu and Tony. Maybe if the spurs threw RJ, Hill, and a pick for Igu and parts they would get over the line. might be a stretch. I think a similar approach to trading – trading two solid backcourt/wing for an upgrade would be smart. We have Manu, Tony, Neal and possibly Anderson or Green, so we are stacked in the backcourt, with the exception of a point.
    The other option is to get a steady point to relieve pressure on Tony, and give him more freedom to score.

  • Bob

    There’s no way Bonner would be able to get off the bench for the Bulls with his lack of defense.

  • Len

    Korver does.

  • DorieStreet

    Yeah, there were three or four fans who thought that letting Mahinmi walk was a bad move; I replied to one of the bloggers to follow him as a Mav.
    Can we once and for all make this the FINAL time someone brings up this guy’s name in reference to the Spurs.

  • Bob

    It’s hard to judge him since he doesn’t get the opportunity to develop and play. He’s a third string center. You can’t always expect someone who hasn’t played that much to come out and have an instant impact. His going for pump fakes and fouling was a perfect example. It’s easy to do if you’re eager to make an impact and don’t play that much.

  • Tyler

    Exactly. To borrow a little from finance, you only deal Bonner if you can get a higher rate of return on that $3M. If you can’t, it’s not a wise move. IMO, you’d be hard pressed to find a better alternative than Bonner for the money, but that could always change with a new CBA.

    Obviously, this is more than a simple math problem, but it’s one aspect you have to look at in any deal. Where do you get the best return on your money? If you can solve that problem better than an opponent, you should have success.

  • Tyler

    Ian has been in the NBA for three years (plus a couple in Austin). At 24, he is what he is – an end of the bench player at best for a contender.

    For all his athleticism, he has no discipline defensively and his BBIQ isn’t very good.

  • Tyler

    Ian has been in the NBA for three years (plus a couple in Austin). At 24, he is what he is – an end of the bench player at best for a contender.

    For all his athleticism, he has no discipline defensively and his BBIQ isn’t very good.

  • Mark B

    It’s just weird to me that someone with the obvious physical gifts he has can’t be coached into becoming a pretty good player, but I’ve seen it again and again.  I mean, he’s had some of the best coaching available, and plenty of good teammates who he could learn from. 

    Meanwhile, there are guys with limited athleticism, like Brian Cardinal, who can deliver when called on because they play smart and within their limitations.  I don’t think it’s intelligence, because I’ve seen Mahinmi interviewed and he seems smart enough.  I agree with the BBIQ statement, but I just wonder if that’s something that can be coached if a player is willing to spend enough hours in a gym with a coach. 

     I’m thinking about Dirk.  There’s no doubt that he’s a physically gifted player, but he’s also take it upon himself to become a smarter and more skilled player throughout his career.  He has continued to develop and get better ever year, at an age where most NBA players have declining skills.

  • Mark B

    One thing about Mahinmi, he doesn’t play much, but he often ends up on a poster when he does. 

  • Mark B

    OK, after all my trash talking about Mahinmi, he gave a couple of good minutes in the first half, and played decent in the third quarter.  His defense in the third was terrible, but he did hit an open shot at the end.  He may yet develop into a decent second stringer.

  • DorieStreet

    Ok, 11 minutes in a closeout final game when they were limited in their options. He did step up though when his number was called, but his play was not game-changing; just part of the momentum built up by the team as a whole in realizing the title was theirs to be had that night.

  • DorieStreet

    Let’s see if his game evolves when the Champs take the court to defend the title.