Backing up RJ

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One of the biggest questions entering the San Antonio Spurs’ training camp was who will back up Richard Jefferson? The team appeared to have a glaring hole behind RJ, one that became even more pronounced when thinking about Jefferson struggling as much in his second year with the Spurs as in his first.

Through three preseason games, Jefferson looks both more comfortable and aggressive on the floor. His numbers don’t reflect that change yet, but RJ’s game passes the eye test. With the Spurs probably employing many three-guard sets featuring Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and George Hill this season, there won’t be extended minutes available behind Jefferson. But there will be enough to make an impact, for better or worse.

It was expected that rookie James Anderson and second year swingman Alonzo Gee would be the two competing for minutes behind RJ, with the loser commuting up I-35 to play for the Austin Toros. Then the Spurs brought James Gist and Bobby Simmons into training camp to challenge Anderson and Gee for the maybe 10-12 minutes behind RJ.

Most of the pub in the backup 3 competition chronicled the work of Simmons and Anderson. Simmons, entering his ninth year, is a proven NBA player. And the Spurs spent a valuable first round pick on Anderson — the 20th overall pick, San Antonio’s highest since drafting Tim Duncan first overall in 1997 — so they were sure to get a stronger look than Gee and Gist.

And through three preseason games? Yeah, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Gist and Gee have done almost nothing to impress. Gee has sat out more games (2) than he’s played (1). In preseason, that’s not usually a good sign. Gist spent practically all of his time at power forward and center this preseason so, for all intents and purposes, he’s out of this competition. Both will probably be cut by the time the regular season starts and head to Austin, unless Gist goes back overseas.

If I was put on the spot to make a pick as to which player would get more time playing small forward right now between Anderson and Simmons, I’d side with Anderson. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has played Anderson 16 minutes per game through the team’s three games this preseason. Anderson is only averaging four points per game, but he’s shooting almost 42% from the field and 33% from behind the 3-point line.

In addition to his offensive prowess, Anderson appears to be able to both spell defense and say it once in a while, simple requests from Coach Pop. Anderson hasn’t quite adjusted to the NBA style yet, but he looks to have the makings of a solid defender in both effort and athleticism. Against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Anderson blocked Kenny Hasbrouck’s jump shots twice in the same quarter, no small feat.

Simmons, on the other hand, is slow out of the gate. While his time spent on the court is similar to Anderson (13.3 mpg), he has not put up the offensive numbers the Spurs’ first round pick has. Simmons is averaging two points per game on 30% from the field, and has yet to hit a 3-pointer.

Defensively, Simmons hasn’t done much to stand out. Although, when you’re talking defense, that’s usually not such a bad thing. After the first three preseason games, Simmons is at +28 in the +/- tally, with his high a +16 on Tuesday night against the Clippers in Mexico City. Anderson’s +/- so far this preseason? -5. Ouch.

So the battle between Anderson and Simmons isn’t as cut-and-dry as I’d hoped. Given Coach Pop’s preference towards veterans, especially with this Spurs core nearing the end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Simmons last through the preseason and continue on the roster for the first part of the season. On the other hand, Coach Pop said before the team’s first preseason game in Houston that San Antonio won’t carry more than 14 players on the roster, so that could throw a wrench in that theory. It’s anyone’s guess.

With Richard Jefferson not playing, in uniform, or even in the state tonight (along with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker) when the Spurs take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA, there should be plenty of minutes to go around for players on the bubble. Maybe then we’ll get a longer look at who’s leading the charge.

  • Tyler

    If we were to carry 14, that’d essentially mean we’d keep Jerrels, Temple, and Simmons……Hopefully, all three play well and force the FO’s hand.

  • DieHardSpur

    I am really looking forward to Anderson having a “break out” game and scoring 20ish point effeciently. Throw in a few three pointers and he will be a roster lock, considering he already has a contract. I am rooting hard for this guy, as I am ready to give the young bucks of the SPURS a hard look and some long burn.

    I did notice that it seems as if we may be transitioning our offense into a faster pace. I do believe that TIM will remain the center of our offense, but if you will notice, we were running the floor like the SUNS down in Mexico City. I would love to see two completely different offensive teams; if Timmy is only going to play 28-30 minutes a game, we can effectively run with all of our other bigs. While the GOAT is in, slow down the pace and let the big fella go to work. When he goes to the bench for a breather, let Hill, Anderson, and RJ run a transition game.

    Employing this strategy would be interesting to try and defend…

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  • Anoop

    Hi

    Would the Spurs look to deal, a few of the young guns – Anderson / Gee / Temple in a package along with Bonner to get a proven defender like James Posey? Given Coach’s preference for veterans in the starting line up, Posey’s record of excelling at the defensive end, wouldn’t he be the player Coach Pop salivates for (hoping for Bowen to be 28 again)! Could RJ be tradeable with the new contract? Would Pacers bite a RJ for JP trade?

  • BlaseE

    I think Gee might be getting DNP’s to keep him under the radar. I think the team just wants to get him back to Austin while other teams are loading up their rosters with guys they already have in training camp. To the FO, he is probably a more known quantity.

    You could make a similar argument for CJ, but he could be analogous to always having Squeaky on the summer team. You want guards that can run the system so that you can evaluate the other players within that system.

    I don’t think the Spurs can carry 13 with how they interact with the Toros. 14 seems tough.

  • The Beat Counselor

    @DieHardSpur
    Interesting idea about the uptempo approach. If they were to do that I think that Manu would have to play point as I think TP an Hill don’t have the requisite passing skills or court vision to run that type of offense (and for Hill probably handles too). Solid idea though and one worth investigating especially with some combination of Manu, Hill, Anderson, RJ(!), Blair and Splitter. Small ball scares me, but if its used sparingly it can be effective (especially if Blair and not RJ are at the 4)

    @Anoop
    I will always be grateful for what James Posey did to the Lakers in 2008 but unfortunately he hasn’t earned his 4 year $6.25 mil (expires 2013) since. I think his peak has come and gone. Who knows though, maybe he’d come back to form if on the right team. I wouldn’t trade away RJ or our future for him though. Too much risk.

    Now if we were talking Battier or Sefolosha then it’d be a different story, but those two are probably just pipe dreams.

    Ariza would be a great fit too but he’s a bit overpaid.

    Why am I the only person in the world that thinks Lance Thomas (Duke) could be a legit NBA perimeter defender?

  • bduran

    I think Simmons has a good shot at making the team. He fills our biggest need, he has put some solid years together (along with some not so solid) in the past and he’s a vet. I bet Pop takes him and Anderson and sees who earns the backup spot as the season progresses.

  • Espoon

    Jared Dudley may be available from the Suns. If the Suns see that Hedo is not working at PF, then they may make a trade to aquire one. The Spurs could use Bonner or McDyess to possibly work out a trade even if it involves a 3rd team.

    I don’t see the Spurs trading McDyess out of respect and the fact that he could simply retire if he is put in a bad situation.

    I think Bonner should be gone by the deadline. Steve Novak could be a cheap replacement if he doesn’t make the Mavs. The Spurs could also call up Gist if he is in the D-League.

  • Tyler

    @DieHard

    That idea sounds great in theory, but I think it’d be next to impossible to institute in the NBA. It’s hard enough to run one offense effectively, much less two at the NBA level. Plus, our offense isn’t the problem – we have more than enough firepower to beat anyone. It’s our defense that has been lacking. And if you did switch to a more up and down, faster style, I think an already mediocre defense (by our standards) would suffer even more.

    @The Beat Counselor

    In a more open style, TP would fare just fine. If he was in NY for example, I have no doubt he’d average close to double digits in assists. TP’s “low” assist numbers are more a product of the Spurs’ offensive scheme than they are of his passing ability/court awareness. Hill on the other hand? Now that’s certainly debatable.

    And James Posey? No thanks. NO regretted that signing as soon as the ink dried….

  • Artis

    Backing up RJ? Ha. I hope RJ starts showing up and makes some shots. His horrible FG% in the pre-season looks where he left off from last season. Sure he is a work horse but what good is a three legged work horse?

  • Jimbo

    @Espoon, Dudley is an interesting idea. The Suns have 87 small forwards on the roster and at least one of them is not going to get minutes. Dudley is an inferior athlete by NBA standards but I love his game all the same. I think he would be a quality pickup for the Spurs if they could somehow get him. I wish the FO hadn’t give Bonner so much, it kind of restricts what they can do now. Was the FO bidding against itself with the Bonner contract? Shades of Allan Houston. Oh well.

  • Jim Henderson

    From main post:

    “With the Spurs probably employing many three-guard sets featuring Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and George Hill this season…..”

    I hope not. I hate 3 guard line-ups. We’re already undersized enough as it is for the team as a whole, and I don’t think that we’re athletic enough to occasionally and effectively exploit small line-ups anyway. Plus, it really doesn’t fit our relatively deliberate and methodical style. If Pop felt like he had enough “bigs” that could match up effectively, and a tough, scrappy, consistent SF, he would be happy to stay away from 3-guard BS. He only does that to create mismatches using his most talented players, but the fact is “sufficient/normal” size generally ends up winning in the NBA. 3-guard line-ups are in a way an act of desperation.

    “Against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Anderson blocked Kenny Hasbrouck’s jump shots twice in the same quarter, no small feat.”

    Kenny Hasbrouck?! The 6’3″ undrafted, no college, D-League player that in 29 mpg. in 3 preseason games has shot just 4 for 30 (13%), including 1 for 14 from three (7%), no matter who was guarding him? I wouldn’t put much credence in Anderson’s defensive capabilities based on his snapshot of success against a guy like Kenny Hasbrouck.

    Bottom line: We’d be better off if we trashed the idea of 3-guard sets, and had a “true”, veteran back-up SF that could make a consistent contribution of 12-18 mpg., including in the playoffs. So let’s just hope Simmons shakes the rust off, and begins to feel more comfortable in the Spurs system, because he’s our best hope for a back-up SF behind RJ. I’d rather see Anderson compete for minutes at the SG, which is where he belongs.

  • bduran

    Jim,

    “We’d be better off if we trashed the idea of 3-guard sets”

    While I tend to agree, I think Pop likes them and that they’re here to stay. Keeping that in mind, Anderson may work out pretty well. I don’t like playing true 2s at the 3, but Anderson looks like he may be able to do it better than many.

  • rob

    I’m all for whoever proves to be the better backup.

    Simmons has shown before his injury that he could be a lock down defender and hit 3’s.

    Anderson is an unknown commodity that has already been proving to make it as a 3.

    Anderson and Simmons are very close to being the same height and weight. So if Simmons has done it before in the past…there’s no reason to believe Anderson couldn’t either.

    Besides. I think Anderson can prove to be that G/F that Pop loves to have on the team. I don’t know if Simmons could do that as effectively.

    And if both show improvement and/or continually play good this preseason…I think both would be kept anyway just because Anderson could play both 2 and 3.

    That’s why I wouldn’t be suprised at a final lineup that looked like this:

    PG: Parker, (Jerrells or Temple)
    SG: Hill, Ginobili, Neal (some time to Anderson here)
    SF: Jefferson, Anderson, Simmons
    PF: Blair, McDyess, Bonner
    C: Duncan, Splitter

    Out of the SG lineup…Hill and/or Manu could play PG as they have done before. But having a more PG oriented back up to Tony would allow Hill and Manu to produce more effectively in their natural positions.

    If Andreson proves efficient at the SF spot…then the Spurs will have addressed their need of a backup without selling the farm and also keeping talent to solidify the 1 and 2 with depth.

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  • Jim Henderson

    Best Line-up:

    TP, Hill, Temple
    Manu, Anderson, Neal (some Hill)
    RJ, Simmons (some Anderson)
    Blair, McDyess, Bonner
    Duncan, Splitter

    I hope we see very little of Manu, Hill, & Parker at the same time. TOO SMALL!!

    I do agree that Anderson has the potential to be a swing player (SG/SF), BUT HE ALSO HAS THE POTENTIAL OF BEING AN ALL-STAR AT THE SG. We’d be wise to focus our development of him from the get-go at the SG spot, if at all possible.

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    October 14th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    “While I tend to agree, I think Pop likes them and that they’re here to stay.”

    He only likes them because he didn’t feel like we had the personnel to not use them. But this year there is the potential that our personnel enhancements will make the 3-guard sets unnecessary. And for all of our sakes, let’s hope so.

  • td4life

    Jim

    Idk if Hill will ever be a great PG, he depends on Manu, Tony, and maybe someone like CJ to be his most effective. Sure he’s still developing and we would love to see him develop as a PG rather than as a less-agressive J Terry type. But I can’t really argue that we shouldn’t simply keep the most effective players on the roster this season… if that proves to include CJ then that’s who should make the team, and being that he will only plays the 1, he may actually get some steady minutes.

    You’re resistance appears to be that we need length. Hey, we all love length. I believe Simmons will get an extended look to start the season, but I am hoping Anderson proves good enough to take the bulk of his minutes. Plenty of guys had to play out of position at different points in thier career… playing SF in our system for a year or two isn’t really gonna stunt his development, and if that’s where the minutes are it can only help him. And it will allow us to see which players are trade assets down the line.

    We have to live with some of Pop’s unconventional (and perhaps pernicious) preferances. 3 guards lineups. Matt Bonner for 4 years. Hey, I really wanted to ship RJ to Golden State. But at this point I’m just rooting for the best players. That said, I think Temple is probably better than Simmons, but believe Simmons will make it because he is a better fit. Size aside, I can’t say that Temple is a better fit than CJ. Not this season. Not until Hill proves he has done his homework and proves he’s done what it takes to own the PG position.

  • rob

    td4life

    I would agree with your sentiments. I too think it’s about the best players proving they’re case to be on the team. It’s always been that way in sports or business.

    It doesn’t matter what the pedigree may suggest. It matters what is produced.

    I don’t know why Temple isn’t producing better. Or why Simmons hasn’t done better. But I would select who is doing better to be on the team to start the season.

    Also…Mentioning that the team is only going to go with 13 players isn’t the same as how many players will actually be on the team.

    But Jim is correct in in his perspective analysis. Playing a 3 guard set has seemed as a desparate move in the past based on not having talent to uphold a traditional format. But who’s to say that this may be a decision based on traditional thought? It could very well be a planned, intentional, and well thought out procedure to use in an otherwise typical atmosphere in order to produce a dynamic outcome if the best components of that plan were in place to execute.

    Blending/combining old with new may well be the best approach to otherwise a stereotyped procedure to accomplishing a goal.

    And if one doesn’t have all the tools that once were used to accomplish that goal…might as well use the best tools available to the best of their ability.

  • DaveMan77

    I love you man. But you’re beating a dead horse with this topic.

  • Jim Henderson

    td4life
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    rob
    October 14th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Let me ask you guys a big fat question: Are you willing to make a roster decision based on TWO PRESEASON games? Really?! If not, what is your evidence that keeping Jerrells over Temple on the Spurs roster at this point of the preseason is the best decision? Is it because he’s generally done pretty well in the D-League and Summer League as well?

    As I noted in a previous post, Temple has also done well in D-League & Summer League, AND has played well this past spring during his call-ups to the NBA in the latter half of the REGULAR SEASON against tougher competition when the games really counted. And by the way, Temple out-played Jerrell in tonight’s preseason game against Cleveland. Their stat lines as follows:

    Jerrells – 24 min., 2-5 FG, 2 reb., 3 asst., 6 pts.

    Temple – 22 min., 3-6 FG, 4 reb., 4 asst., 1 blk., 8 pts.

    From td4life:

    “You’re resistance appears to be that we need length.”

    Everything else being equal, yes, and any coach in the league would agree. The fact is both Temple and Jerrells are fairly equal overall in terms of what they each bring to the table. Jerrells is a slightly better ball-handler and shooter; Temple is a bit better rebounder and defender; and they’re fairly equal as play maker’s. I’ll go with Temple’s length advantage, and his defensive capabilities because in my view that’s what this team needs the most.

    “…..playing SF in our system for a year or two isn’t really gonna stunt his development, and if that’s where the minutes are it can only help him.”

    If Anderson can ONLY earn minutes at the SF, I would prefer that to him rotting on the bench. However, we should all be hoping that Anderson is able to earn minutes at the SG, because that’s where he could become a star in the near future (the sooner we play him there the sooner this could happen). For example, if Anderson plays well-enough, the minutes could without problem go as follows at the guard positions: TP – 32 min.; Manu – 27 min.; Hill – 22 min.; Anderson – 15 min. Six of Hill’s 22 minutes would be a SG, 16 of them at the point, playing mostly with Manu (which by the way, is a combo that worked well for Manu, Hill, and the team at the end of last year). Anderson would pick up most of his minutes with TP, which could also be a pretty good combination. Of course all of this is predicated on Anderson earning his minutes, but the point is they certainly don’t need to be earned at the SF spot. Hill and Manu would be fine with Hill at the point for about 15-16 minutes per game.

    From Rob:

    “I don’t know why Temple isn’t producing better. Or why Simmons hasn’t done better. But I would select who is doing better to be on the team to start the season.”

    You’re essentially saying that you want to completely disregard past performance, future potential, physical attributes, and skill-sets that provide the best fit for the team. You basically want to put ALL your eggs in the preseason box-score basket. Am I really reading you correctly here?!

    Bottom-line: In my view, Temple is the better fit for our team, has the most upside, and should he ever be needed for extended minutes this season, would perform the best compared to Jerrells in a real NBA game that matters (this year and beyond).

    A closing word on the 3-guard set:

    We should be hoping that Pop does not feel the need to use that configuration this year (or very infrequently) because the personnel has improved sufficiently at the F/C positions to preclude it’s usefulness. The 3-guard line-up clearly does not help us defensively (it’s ok occasionally against SMALL teams), and that’s a problem.

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    “I do agree that Anderson has the potential to be a swing player (SG/SF), BUT HE ALSO HAS THE POTENTIAL OF BEING AN ALL-STAR AT THE SG.”

    You think he can be an All-star SG? I haven’t actually seen him play, but I do agree that he would be better as a SG than SF. From how I see it, at 6’6″ and 215 lbs, he can either be a big SG or a smallish SF. To me, Anderson has always appeared to have a wide, strong upper body, and has the build to easily put on 10-15lbs of upper body strength without significantly affecting his speed. Although I think he can play both spots, I’d rather him be a matchup nightmare for a smaller SG than to have problems with the bigger SF’s in the league. I’m probably off base with this, but he reminds me a bit of Brandon Roy. They both have similar size, shooting skills, and athletic abilities. Wouldn’t it be nice if it I were right in this comparison?

  • Jim Henderson

    Hobson13
    October 14th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    “You think he can be an All-star SG?”

    Well, from what I’ve seen of him, he looks to have that “potential”. He’s very instinctual, good size, and very athletic, all the things you can’t teach. That said, you know what is always said about potential; it often doesn’t materialize. But most of the main ingredients seem to be there, though I’m not sure if he has the “intelligence” (more than just BB IQ) to take his game to a special level. We’ll have to see, and just keep our fingers crossed, but I do think he has a legitimate shot to make an impact this year if given the chance. Though it’s at SG is where he could make his true mark, in my view.

    “I think he can play both spots, I’d rather him be a matchup nightmare for a smaller SG than to have problems with the bigger SF’s in the league.”

    EXACTLY! And he could be a match-up problem on BOTH sides of the ball.

    “I’m probably off base with this, but he reminds me a bit of Brandon Roy. They both have similar size, shooting skills, and athletic abilities. Wouldn’t it be nice if it I were right in this comparison?”

    Nice? Try ecstatic! There are similarities to Roy, although I see Mitch Richmond through my fantasy glasses. Would you mind that?!

    Mitch at 30, but it will give you a sense of their similarities!:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIH07X12M2Q

  • Jim Henderson

    A clip of Anderson at Oklahoma State:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjO82Qxo2Wc

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    October 14th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    “Nice? Try ecstatic! There are similarities to Roy, although I see Mitch Richmond through my fantasy glasses. Would you mind that?!”

    Yeah, Mitch was a real nice player!! I sure hope Anderson gets some good minutes whether at the 2 or 3 spot this year. I would really like it if Pop would play Anderson serious minutes for the next 3 preseason games in an effort to get him back into game shape and see what he can do. The more this guy plays, the better we’ll know what he really is.

  • Jim Henderson

    “I would really like it if Pop would play Anderson serious minutes for the next 3 preseason games in an effort to get him back into game shape and see what he can do.”

    Yeah, play Hill & Anderson more in the back court (give TP & Manu only 15 to 20 minutes each max until the last preseason game or two, then get them up to 30 min each), and Simmons a bit more at SF.

  • timanutony21209

    Maybe we could sign Gist or Cousin who can play the PF/C position which the Suns need (becuase they stacked up on the SF spot, which the Spurs need!). So maybe we can trade Gist or Cousin or both for Jared Dudley.

    If that doesn’t work we can trade for Battier because he has an expiring contract and he may not want to continue playing for a losing team. Plus, Houston may want let him go to develop their other SF, Chase Budinger.

    I’d go for Dudley because he can still improve and he’s still young but either way, I think our best option is to make a trade(not involving Tony!) for a legit defender at SF.

  • http://www.sanantoniospurs.com SPURS FAN SINCE 89

    I’m looking foward to the Spurs season because 2-7 in the West is up for grabs. In my opinion the defending champions have the number 1 spot. In my opinion the Spurs still need to get a little bigger and more defensive to defend against the bigs of L.A. and Boston. Yes the Spurs have gotten more young, athletic, and talented but without that lockdown defense that the Spurs once had it will be hard to go far in the playoffs. Hopefully Splitter can play as Robin next to Timmy as batman and be a twin tower threat. I’m not really sure how his shot blocking is because I haven’t gotten to see that much of him. Blair is and has always been a beast and a rebounding machine. Let’s hope he’s practiced more on his freethrows and defense. Also McDyees will be a great backup. He still has a great jump shot and can still rebound. I agree that the Spurs need another big that can shot block.
    I agree this will be a different team, but without defense you will never make it to the Finals and win another championship. Pop and the big 3 need to sell defense to the younger players and rookies so they by into the system.
    I want the Spurs to start beating Boston and L.A. during the regular season and prove to me that they’re ready to take that next step in the playoffs.
    Let’s Go Spurs!!!

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “Let me ask you guys a big fat question: Are you willing to make a roster decision based on TWO PRESEASON games? Really?!”

    No. Not off of two preseason games. All I essentually said was that if Jerrells proves to be the better choice solidified by his production on the court this preseason I would have to choose him over Temple if Temple continues to play subpar compared to his “Brief” performances from last year and in SL play.

    I’ve also mentioned that I would prefer Temple if Temple could get back to himself. And I prefer that because of what you mentioned regarding height.

    But I would’nt just keep Temple because of his height if Temple can’t get back to form.

    Are you saying you would do that even if Jerrells were proving to be the better player to keep?

  • Tim in Surrey

    Sorry guys, but as a recent graduate of Washington, I feel the need to channel Lloyd Bentsen in responding to the enthusiasm of my esteemed colleagues, Mr. Hobson and Mr. Henderson:

    Gentlemen, I studied with Brandon Roy. I watched Brandon Roy play. Brandon Roy was a favourite of mine. Gentlemen, James Anderson is no Brandon Roy.

    I do realize, of course, that you were both thinking more in terms of physical characteristics. But as basketball players they’re very, very different. Roy is actually a little smaller than Anderson, but far more athletic. In fact, it’s strange how few people seem to realize just how athletic Brandon is. But it’s probably because his game and demeanor don’t showcase it. The one Spur who has the most similar game to Roy is probably Manu because both of them are extraordinary leaders, extraordinary ballhandlers–regardless of size or position–and also possess the athleticism, size, and advanced skills necessary to be elite wing scorers in the NBA. Anderson is simply not that kind of player–and never will be.

    That said, I really like James Anderson a lot and think he’ll be an excellent player. I think the Mitch Richmond comparison is much more appropriate. However, he’s got a long way to go to reach the remarkable combination of strength and quickness of “The Rock”, and he’s still not as strong of a shooter. It does seem possible, though, that he could develop into a similar player in a few years. And boy, would I happy to see it happen.

    What has really impressed me most about Anderson so far is his eagerness to accept whatever role the Spurs have asked him to fill. When you consider that he was a high-scoring All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year, it shows a lot of character.

    And for the record, I think he’ll be an effective defender at the 3 in the long run–probably even better than at the 2, where his lack of elite quickness will hurt him against Arenas/Terry-style combo guards. He is, after all, 6’6″ with a broad wingspan and a lot of strength. That will work against guys like Durant–just look at the video of how much Durant struggled against Artest. It’s too bad, though, that Anderson’s so top-heavy. Because if he had a bigger caboose, he could be a great post-up 3, a la Adrian Dantley or Mark Aguirre.

  • http://www.sanantoniospurs.com SPURS FAN SINCE 89

    I think that the Spurs have way too many guards and not enough shot blocking big men. They should trade a couple of their guards for a couple more big men. What was wrong with the shot blocking Ratliff??? He was good enough for L.A. as a third back up. Jus saying… Hill, Ginobili, Gee, Anderson, Temple, Parker, Neal, Jerrells. That’s way too many guards. Also the Spurs still don’t have a true center. I hope Pop doesn’t plan on putting the pasty, flat footed, one dimensonal, no ups, non athletic, no defense playing, afraid to shoot the wide open 3 Bonner listed at 6’10 f-c at Center this year. They have Blair listed at 6’8 f-c which is being generous. I believe he’s 6’7. Also Mcdyees 6’10 f-c. Then Splitter 6’11- f . Timmy 6-11 -f. So where’s the center??? Still no true center since the Admiral retired. Also still no true shot blocker. T.D. is good for about 3-4 a game (especially in the playoffs) but that is nothing compared to Bynum who was playing injured & Gasol and were averaging 7 a game in the Finals against Boston.
    Why am I comparing T.D. & Splitter and the Spurs to Bynum, Gasol and the Lakers because if the Spurs want another championship it’s going to have to go through L.A. The Spurs record against L.A. in playoffs since 2000 is 0-3. I hope Pop’s got a new game plan against Kobe and L.A. because his old ones haven’t worked.
    STILL BEAT L.A. SINCE 2000

  • http://www.sanantoniospurs.com SPURS FAN SINCE 89

    Does anyone know the status of Splitter’s strained plantaris muscle??? He’s been out since September 30. I hope he’s ready for the season opener on Wednesday October 27th vs. Indiana.
    Timmy needs alot of help this year, especially in the the 2nd half where he’s faded and struggled tremendously the last two years.

  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    October 15th, 2010 at 4:29 am

    “All I essentually said was that if Jerrells proves to be the better choice solidified by his production on the court this preseason I would have to choose him over Temple if Temple continues to play subpar compared to his “Brief” performances from last year and in SL play.”

    But what you just said IS based on two preseason games! And by the way, Temple’s “brief” performances last year was A LOT more substantial than Jerrells performances ANYWHERE!

    “Are you saying you would do that even if Jerrells were proving to be the better player to keep?”

    As I said, you apparently subscribe to this philosophy:

    “disregard past performance, future potential, physical attributes, and skill-sets that provide the best fit for the team. Basically you want to put ALL your eggs in the preseason box-score basket.”

    I don’t subcribe to that philosophy. I take ALL those things into account, and at this time, my conclusion is as follows:

    “In my view, Temple is the better fit for our team, has the most upside, and should he ever be needed for extended minutes this season, would perform the best compared to Jerrells in a real NBA game that matters (this year and beyond).”

    Tim in Surrey
    October 15th, 2010 at 4:38 am

    “Sorry guys, but as a recent graduate of Washington, I feel the need to channel Lloyd Bentsen in responding to the enthusiasm of my esteemed colleagues, Mr. Hobson and Mr. Henderson:”

    But remember, I never said that Anderson was going to be another Brandon Roy. I simply acknowledged to Hobson that in a generic way there were “some similarities”. I think you might be a little over protective or defensive about the all mighty Brandon Roy, your Huskie God (just a playful dig!). The fact remains they have basic similarities in size, shooting, ability to score off the dribble, etc. Roy’s always been a better ball-handler/”play maker”. But their college stats are also quite comparable on many levels according to Draft Express. The whole conversation was about maximizing potential, and our fantasy upside to Anderson. The fact is the guy does have exceptional talent, he was probably a steal at #20, and we simply don’t know how far he can go, but he “could” be pretty special.

    “Roy is actually a little smaller than Anderson, but far more athletic.”

    I disagree with that. Draft Express actually has Roy listed as about 10 lbs. heavier. I think they’re very close in size, but Anderson has a longer wingspan. Also, Roy has better “athleticism” as a “play maker”, but not as a “scorer.”

    “The one Spur who has the most similar game to Roy is probably Manu……”

    I agree that Manu is a better comparison, especially if we’re not looking back to when they we’re both 21 (Anderson’s age). I do think Anderson has the potential to improve his ball-handling & play making though, just not to the extent of Roy.

    I agree with your comments about the Richmond comparison. Just remember, my post made it clear that Mitch was my “fantasy” upside for Anderson.

    “And for the record, I think he’ll be an effective defender at the 3 in the long run–probably even better than at the 2, where his lack of elite quickness will hurt him against Arenas/Terry-style combo guards.”

    Fair enough, but I think his quickness is underrated, and deceiving. Very much like “The Rock”. I think Anderson can guard the SG fine. They’ll always be times when opposing coaches will try to exploit quickness mismatches, but it goes both ways. Anderson will learn to abuse the Terry’s of the world in post-ups.

  • Jim Henderson

    SPURS FAN SINCE 89
    October 15th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    You’re preaching to the choir with me. I’ve been advocating for a bigger, deeper, better shot-blocking front line for months. I guess I have no pull with the FO. What a shocker!

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “disregard past performance, future potential, physical attributes, and skill-sets that provide the best fit for the team. Basically you want to put ALL your eggs in the preseason box-score basket.”

    You are resorting to placing words in peoples mouths. If you care to extrapulate anywhere I based my opinion on just two preseason games I’m all for the proof.

    Again…in case you didn’t read it before… which you did because you quoted me…I’ll paste it again…
    “All I essentually said was that if Jerrells proves to be the better choice solidified by his production on the court this preseason I would have to choose him over Temple if Temple continues to play subpar compared to his “Brief” performances from last year and in SL play.”

    I don’t find anywhere in that statement or one’s before that says I’m basing my opinion off of two preseason games. All I was saying is that IF Jerrells continues to play as in his first two preseason games and Temple for what ever reason can’t perform up to his standards pre-injury…Jerrells should get the nod.

    And. I would have to guess that you would keep Temple over Jerrells if Jerrells proves to outplay Temple.

    “In my view, Temple is the better fit for our team, has the most upside, and should he ever be needed for extended minutes this season, would perform the best compared to Jerrells in a real NBA game that matters (this year and beyond).”

    I never argued that point. I agree with that statement. But if Temple can’t (and I hope he does) start playing like he did prior to his injury….You Won’t See The Same Result As Before.

  • J2

    Bobby Simmons will probably be RJ’s backup with Ginobili, Anderson, Blair, or even Hill getting time at the position when the matchup allows. Anderson still needs to earn a slot in the rotation, which may be delayed until mid-season or next season based on his play so far.

  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    October 15th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    “You are resorting to placing words in peoples mouths.”

    I’m quoting you again:

    “All I essentually said was that if Jerrells proves to be the better choice solidified by his production on the court this preseason I would have to choose him over Temple if Temple continues to play subpar compared to his “Brief” performances from last year and in SL play.”

    Those are YOUR words. I don’t put words into people’s mouths. I don’t see how these words of YOURS do anything other than communicate that the tipping point in the decision between Jerrells & Temple [thus far] should come down to the TWO preseason games in which Jerrells had clearly played better than Temple.

    As a result, since those two preseason games had thus far led you to suggest that if the basic trend continued for a few more “relatively meaningless” preseason games you would give the nod to Jerrells over Temple (I can quote you on that as well from the last few days if I must). And so, as communicated in your words, I simply used deductive reasoning to make the following assertion, as well as a probe for clarification:

    “You’re essentially saying that you want to completely disregard past performance, future potential, physical attributes, and skill-sets that provide the best fit for the team. You basically want to put ALL your eggs in the preseason box-score basket. Am I really reading you correctly here?!”

    Instead of saying “all” your eggs, I guess I could have said the “deciding” eggs, but the point remains: if the roster had to be determined before the last preseason game, you appeared to be okay with using those “two preseason games” as the deciding factor for a roster spot between Temple & Jerrells. And I was simply making it clear that I don’t think that makes sense. You are also clearly suggesting that after all SEVEN of our PRESEASON games that even if Jerrells only slightly out-plays Temple overall you would be persuaded to give the nod to Jerrells. That suggests that you put little weight on these factors: “past performance, future potential, physical attributes, and skill-sets that provide the best fit for the team.” —- because the edge would clearly have to go to Temple on the majority of these factors.

    “I never argued that point. I agree with that statement. But if Temple can’t (and I hope he does) start playing like he did prior to his injury….You Won’t See The Same Result As Before.”

    Do you really believe that Temple at the age of 24 is suddenly not as good as he was 6 months ago, and Jerrells is suddenly much better? If Jerrells slightly out-performs Temple during these 7 PRESEASON games, does that in your mind really trump Temple’s performance over his 13-game REGULAR SEASON stint during the Spurs stretch drive just 6 months ago?

    By the way, here’s a sample of what you said after TWO decent preseason games by Jerrells:

    rob
    October 13th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    “I don’t see room on the team for Temple if he can’t prove to be more useful than what Jerrells is proving now.”

    rob
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:42 am

    “But if Jerrells is proving through his play that he should be kept then all I have to go by is what’s being produced on the court. At this time regarding depth of the team…Jerrells is proving to be kept over Temple.”

    These quotes clearly suggest that the tide had already begun to swing for you to slightly favor Jerrells (after TWO good games), and that you are putting tremendous emphasis on these 7 preseason games as a deciding factor between Temple & Jerrells.

    Perhaps I over-emphasized that the TWO preseason games up to that point were all that you cared about, but it is clear that you put a HUGE emphasis on the PRESEASON games as a whole. And I disagree wholeheartedly with the extent of that emphasis. I would put much more weight on the other factors that I mentioned earlier in this post.

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “I don’t see how these words of YOURS do anything other than communicate that the tipping point in the decision between Jerrells & Temple [thus far] should come down to the TWO preseason games in which Jerrells had clearly played better than Temple.”

    Jim…my comments were about what transpires throughout the entire preseason using what had happened in the first 2 preseason games. You’re the one who keeps bringing up the first two preseason games as a basis of my decision. Which I never did.

    My quote:
    “I don’t see room on the team for Temple if he can’t prove to be more useful than what Jerrells is proving now.”

    And what Jerrells was proving was to be more effective than Temple. Was this not the case?

    And to be honest Jim…Jerrells also had a really good SL outing himself.

    Maybe it’s a good thing that people like you and I debate over Jerrells and Temple. For that only shows the Spurs do have a situation of having quality to either use or expend.

    I just would appreciate that you don’t put words in my mouth or try to tell me what I’m thinking. I said it several times in different ways regarding my take on Temple and Jerrells…yet you continued to try and make it sound as if I were saying it in a manner that you were interpreting when I was making it as clear as possible that I wasn’t saying or suggesting anything other than what I clearly was quoting.

  • Jim Henderson

    Rob,

    I was simply pointing out that YOUR comments (and I quoted you several times – so I don’t put words in your mouth – in fact I deliberately asked you if I was articulating & interpreting your position correctly when I said, “Am I really reading you correctly here?!”) clearly suggest that you think the battle between Temple & Jerrells should be essentially decided on D-league, Summer League, & Preseason performance, which is the ONLY experience that Jerrells has. And as I’ve explained in several different ways, I respectfully disagree with that method of evaluation. For a 13th player on the roster it is much more important to consider Temple’s 13 games with us (and practices) in crucial regular season NBA games during a playoff push against tougher competition this past March/April than SL & a few Preseason contests. It’s also more important to consider physical attributes, future potential, and “fit”, all of which favor Temple for his length & defensive capabilities.

    If you want to make your decision based almost entirely on SL (when Temple was injured), or a half dozen preseason games (which are not as good of an indicator as playing in meaningful regular season games), and not give appropriate weight to physical attributes, future potential, and “fit”, then we can just agree to disagree, and just wait and see what Pop does at the end of the preseason. I’m willing to bet that Temple is there at the end, and that even if Jerrells is too, Temple will end up seeing more game time and perform better throughout the regular season. But we’ll see.

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “I’m willing to bet that Temple is there at the end, and that even if Jerrells is too, Temple will end up seeing more game time and perform better throughout the regular season. But we’ll see.”

    I can live with that. In fact, as I’ve said before…I agree with your assesment IF Temple is healthy and can come back to form pre-injury.

  • http://www.sanantoniospurs.com SPURS FAN SINCE 89

    Tiago Splitter Suffers Strained Plantaris Muscle
    SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 30, 2010 – The San Antonio Spurs announced that today in practice Tiago Splitter suffered a strained right plantaris muscle. Splitter will undergo a seven-to-ten day rehabilitation program after which a timeline for his return will be determined.

    Does anyone know the status of Splitter right now? Will he be ready for the season opener?

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill
  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    October 16th, 2010 at 5:08 am

    “I can live with that. In fact, as I’ve said before…I agree with your assesment IF Temple is healthy and can come back to form pre-injury.”

    In my view he doesn’t have to get all the way back to “pre-injury form” in the next week in order to earn a roster spot on the Spurs. If I read you correctly you think he does, unless Jerrells underperforms the rest of the preseason. And that’s where we differ. You appear to operate as if it’s a completely open competition between the two of them. I come at it with Temple having already earned a distinct advantage coming in. Jerrells in my view is a bit of a long shot, and would have to consistently play better than he has up to now to nudge Temple out.

    Read more: http://www.48minutesofhell.com/2010/10/14/backing-up-rj/#comments#ixzz12YPevq3f

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “Jerrells in my view is a bit of a long shot, and would have to consistently play better than he has up to now to nudge Temple out.”

    That would be correct. Jerrells is being competitive to say the least. Proving that if he can’t make this Spurs team…he could be elevating himself to another.

    Look…ever since Temple came on the scene last year I was exstatic about his introduction. Temple was playing better at PG than Hill in my opinion. I had been looking forward to him coming in and earning his spot on the roster with what he showed last season and in SL.

    But the fact is that ever since he got hurt with an ankle inury in SL…it’s taken a long time for him to get back to even being in competition with Jerrells. I don’t know the reason for this. All I have been seeing is that Jerrells has been outperforming Temple thus far.

    And you may be correct. You’re an intelligent person with really good knowledge of the game and the Spurs personell. But if Temple can’t for whatever reason seem to regain his form in preseason and Jerrells keeps putting up really good performances better than Temple…to me the staff has to take that into consideration considering what lies in store for the season.

  • Jim Henderson

    “But if Temple can’t for whatever reason seem to regain his form in preseason and Jerrells keeps putting up really good performances better than Temple…to me the staff has to take that into consideration considering what lies in store for the season.”

    Sure. I mean there is “some” competition for the last roster spot. But as I pointed out in a previous post, Temple finally got some minutes in the last preseason contest and out-performed Jerrells. And Temple also had the edge coming in, for a variety of reasons in my view, so I’m not too worried about Temple making the team. Jerrells would have to elevate his game to another level over what he’s already done to even have a shot at nudging Temple out. And I just don’t see it happening.