DeJuan Blair finally doubles up
AT&T CENTER — As the locker room opened after the Spurs’ 116-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, George Hill was determined to convince Manu Ginobili of the magical powers of Hill’s balance bracelet.
According to its website, the balance bracelet is “designed to work with your body’s natural energy field.” Additionally, it is “designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body.”
I guess that means it makes your balance better too.
No matter the certainty that Hill showed, Manu wasn’t buying it.
“Have you heard of a placebo?” Manu asked.
Hill didn’t follow.
“It’s a Spanish word,” Richard Jefferson chimed in, jokingly.
Of a similar ilk, we were wowed by the preseason DeJuan Blair had last month. Blair looked primed for a breakout season during San Antonio’s exhibition schedule when he averaged 12.6 points and 8.7 points per game. All the talk entering the preseason slate was the work Blair did to extend his range.
But going into Saturday’s game against Philadelphia, Blair was averaging just five points and under seven rebounds per game. And the shooting? According to Hoopdata, Blair was 0 for 7 on shots 10-feet out and farther. Despite what we heard, the results weren’t there.
The jump shot didn’t change against the 76ers — Blair clanged both of his jumpers — but he did put up 13 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
“This was the first one of the year, but knowing me, I’m still getting adapted to playing the four with Tim,” Blair said. “Once me and [Duncan] get the groove of grabbing rebounds together, instead of one getting 10 and one getting four, it’s going to be amazing.”
For the first time this season, Blair and Duncan showed the big-man-to-big-man passing skills that inspired Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich in the preseason to proclaim that the two could play together, despite Blair’s limited range and inability to stretch the floor.
“We’re just going to keep playing and however the game goes, it goes,” Blair said. “I’m not worried about double-doubles, it’s just all about winning right now.”
With every other starter seemingly firing on all cylinders, even though Duncan hasn’t cracked double figures in scoring in either of the last two games, a boost from Blair makes the Spurs’ offense even more dangerous.
“I finally got my break and now I just have to keep going,” Blair said. “Through the ups and downs, I’m going to keep playing and try to win.”