San Antonio Spurs 109, New Orleans Hornets 84

by

AT&T CENTER–Big deficit comebacks–and the need to avoid them–being a popular pregame topic of conversation, the San Antonio Spurs rang up a season-high 68 points in the first half on their way to a 109-84 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

“You can only reach into that bag so many times, and we’ve done it five times already,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. “Eventually it will catch up to us.”

Having fallen behind quickly into double digit holes in the first two games against the Hornets, with one comeback successful and the first one falling just short, the San Antonio Spurs did what worked so successfully in their previous two games against the Hornets–spread a previously elite New Orleans defense out with four shooters, then bombard them with three-pointers, dribble penetration, and extra passes.

In a blowout like tonight, there are so many things to point out that the Spurs did right (or Hornets did wrong), but the most notable was dealing with pick and rolls (and, in fact, any play)  involving Matt Bonner.

Keying a second quarter run of nearly flawless execution, Bonner scored 12 of his 14 points and two assists as the Spurs blew open what was already a fairly comfortable lead.

By my unofficial count, the Spurs ran nine plays in the second quarter involving Matt Bonner, scoring eight times, of which seven possessions ended with three-pointers. A quick rundown of some of his second quarter work:

  • After running a pick and roll with Bonner, Manu Ginobili finds himself in a defensive switch against one of the Hornets’ big men, clearing ample room for a step back three-pointer (37-25).
  • Bonner nails an open three-pointer off dribble penetration and a pass from Gary Neal (40-25).
  • Bonner and Neal play a little two-man game, with Bonner finding Neal open behind the line (43-27).
  • Hill fouled at rim after pick and roll frees him, hits both free throws (45-27).
  • Bonner hits a pick and pop three from Manu Ginobili.
  • Another pick and pop, same combination of players (53-29).
  • Matt Bonner on a drive and kick, finds Neal again for a three-pointer (58-34).
  • Tony Parker takes one step into the paint, and finds Bonner for an open three when his defender sags too much. (64-34).
  • Bonner misses an open three, ruining an otherwise perfect quarter.

“They were hard-hedging, so if I can get off the pick quick enough–sometimes not even set it, but slip to a spot–they’re behind,” Bonner said. “Then I can catch the ball for a shot, drive, or find someone else open.”

  • Hobson13

    When Bonner shoots like this (usually against the lesser teams) we win. This was one of our best wins this year. Spurs blew up NO in the first half and wouldn’t let the Hornets even think about getting back into the contest. It’s good to see Manu and Tim play so few minutes. Seven of our next 8 games are at home and all are very winnable. This is a stretch of the season for the team to get some good practice time and really develop.

    On a positive note, a 17-3 start is unbelievable for this team. The only bad game we’ve played came against the Clipps (insane isn’t it). On a negative note, with a lineup of Manu, Tony, Hill, and even Neal, we have arguably the best backcourt in the league. However, I’m still not sure about our front line. Bonner and Blair have been wildly inconsistent, Tim and Dyess can’t take many minutes, and Tiago has been an enigma. We either need one of the young guys to step up or we need to look at the trade market. IMO, if our front line can’t turn the corner, it will be very tempting to look at bringing in a young talent at the 4 or 5 spot for, say, George Hill.

    We aren’t in a position where we HAVE to trade anyone, but we could definitely use another 7-footer on this team who can score, rebound, and block a shot or two. As I have posted before, I would love to get a young big like Jason Thompson and I believe Sacto would jump on a talent like Hill. Something to think about as the season wears on…

  • junierizzle

    AWESOME WIN!!!

    Nice to see TIAGO play even in a blow out.

    Okay, I know he missed the entire pre-season and he needs to “adjust” to the NBA. But we are already 20 games in!! I hope his minutes continue to increase. I don’t know how far they can go in the playoffs if POP ends up putting him on ice. HIs offense aint there (yet) BUt his D is great. He changed a lot of shots tonight.

  • rj

    tiago’s time will come in back-to-backs and blow outs. blow outs will give him the chance to get in better game shape and rhythm and back-to-backs will earn him a chance to get time with the primary rotation. missing preseason was a bigger blow to his development than most of us realize. nevertheless, bonner is shooting and rebounding relatively well. as long as we are winning games, we can take our time to develop tiago. duncan dyess and blair will have to carry the load unless we seek a transaction.

  • zainn

    @ hobson13 losing hill would hurt us wayy more than gaining thompson. We already have too many bigs and adding another for guards that we dont have too many of, we may as well be the opposite of David kahn’s timberwolves, too many bigs instead of smalls. Hill has been an enigma for us the past 3 games, and helping us overcoem manu’s bittersome shooting performances, and pop would never trade a former favorite player… the idea is good, but the outcome would kill the mojo and heartiness of our team…

  • John

    Uhh, wasn’t Rasho one of Pop’s favorite players?

  • NYC

    Trade George Hill?? Are you crazy!
    With Hill we are deep in the back court. Without Hill we are suddenly thin in the back court and one injury away from being in trouble. No way I’d make that trade.

  • Flavor

    Theres not a quality big out there that would bring in more than we trade out…

  • grego

    Spurs are pretty much stuck with the roster. A trade would just alter the current setup and that would mean they probably would be less likely to do as well in the post season as opposed to going in with what they have now.

    One thing they don’t have is time.

    Spurs are rebuilding on the run, but Hill and Blair have at least a year under their belt. Neal was a pro in Europe. Anderson seems to be mature beyond his years.

    The core works and to get another big would require putting a new kink in the core. The ROI is not worth it.

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  • Base

    @Hobson: I would trade Blair for Murphy. Salaries don’t match up, so it will need work (wonder if NJ has a TPE), but NJ gets another rebuilding piece, we get to lease a good rebounding AND shooting big man.

    Problem is I don’t think we’d be able to arrange any trade of any kind, because we just don’t have any throw-ins at this point. From the starting 5 to Anderson, Neal, Bonner, Tiago, Hill, Dyess – almost everyone 1-10 in our lineup has been essential to our team’s success. If anyone is traded, I would have to say Blair be the one. He’s the only one that doesn’t really seem to fit in the system.

  • junierizzle

    Hobson13

    Slow your roll.

  • Easy B

    It should be obvious to most followers of the spurs by this stage in the season that the team as a group is more talented, more cohesive and dare I say more hungry than last year. I think all the worry about Tiago is premature: Pop is being consistent in his approach to rookies by not overplaying them, and challenging them to earn their minutes. Neal’s level of play has been the highest of all rookies on the team (Anderson was on his heels before injuries, and Tiago has suffered from setbacks as well), and has earned his minutes. On top of that, Tiago has to find minutes behind Goat, a highly efficient nba veteran and a second year player who knows the system better than him with superior conditioning and alot of upside, not to mention a 6’9 big who shoots 50% from 3pt land. Come to think of it, I’m dumbfounded that we keep winning with such a thin front line…..as Portland and La have found out, chasing thoroughbred 7ft powerhouse centers can be like finding fools gold. The point being, the spurs have the horses to win the style of play that works best for them – its about exerting that style on the opposition in the playoffs….

  • ITGuy

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Czernobog

    Who starts talking trade at 17-3? Ever heard of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

  • agutierrez

    The big unknown for the Spurs at this point is how we’ll do against teams that have two good bigs on the floor at the same time. Minny has given us a devil of a time, we lost to Dallas, we’ve yet to play LA. I thought Pop should have given Tiago some burn against Dallas, just to test the waters, given that no one else could slow down the tandem of Dirk and Chandler. That remains the challenge ahead.

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  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Hobson13

    Hill NO – We can’t afford to loose our 6th man for a Big that not even a solidified starter on a BAD kings team………….

    @ Czernobog

    Anyone with a basketball mind and how has been watching our games know that we struggle VS teams with 2 good to great bigs……….. So yes a trade is needed or POP is gonna have to find a way to dip Timmy and Dice into the fountain of youth and turn back the clock 5 years

    Our Our small line up is pretty set as long as Anderson recovers and can find his form before the playoffs

    But just like NO has finally realized – you can hide alot of warts when you are winning – but sooner or later you will get exposed and then the party is all over………… Lets hope the Spurs do something about their warts before the rest of the Association discovers them

  • marrocas

    Please no trades! Tiago’s defense is really good. Great size, positioning, blocking out, getting charges, moving his feet fast, holding his own against the P&R, not committing dumb fouls… Solid.

    On offense, yes, apparently he really does not shoot, but he is a relentless screener and great at the P&R. He would get his points if Hill or Neal were good passers, but they usually miss him when he rolls or moves to the open space without the ball.

    We will probably see him more in crunch playoffs time against Dallas and/or LA than mediocre defenders Bonner or Blair, I think.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    I feel like a trade for a big would have to be for picks at this point and not for anyone on the roster – unless it was for Dyess and one or 2 first rounders – with the hope that team will cut Dyess loose for us to get him back.

    This team is playing great and you do not want to jack with the overall chemistry. Everyone who suggests trading Blair, please think again. This guy is a monster on the glass and does the dirty work for this team, he needs to be better utilized, nothing more.

    Now, to go in a different direction, this Spurs team needs to have the Big 3 in the All Star Game with Pop running that team should the Spurs still be the top NBA team at the break.

    I know that they do not care for the accolades but this team has been ruddered by those 3 and R-Jeff, who is definitely making his case to be an All Star Reserve.

    This team is the best in the NBA and as long as they keep taking their work to heart, should be just fine through the rest of the season.

  • Manolo Pedralvez

    While we appreciate San Antonio’s emphatic win over New Orleans, which was outclassed in every way, we can’t but help but commisserate with the Spurs “smaller brother,” considering the pathetic condition the franchise finds itself in.

  • Anoop

    The winning start of the Spurs is a direct contrast to last season’s sluggish play, 9-8 after the first 17 games. Given that most of these wins have come against struggling / emerging teams, the performance against elite teams would actully be the test of this roster. December has a few such match ups coming – Portland, Lakers and Dallas (also Orlando, if not mistaken). Hope the Spurs are able to answer sceptics like myself with maintaining the winning record in the coming weeks.

  • KOC

    We’re a picky spoiled fan base aren’t we? We’ll get a big all right, when Tim Duncan retires.

    Trading George Hill? That’s just foolish. A consistent performer who keeps getting better and better, not to mention his stifling defense, solid free throw shooting. I think Pop would fight you on that one.

    Next thing you know they’ll be posts about how we need to drain more threes. Geez, relax people, it’s a long season…

  • Hobson13

    First of all, the George Hill trade proposal is absolutely risky. However, at this point, Hill and Neal and very similar players. Yes, Hill is the better defender and Neal is the better shooter, but both are essentially combo guards who can handle the rock, but have difficulty creating shots for themselves.

    Secondly, don’t let our record decieve you. We have had a propensity to get pushed around by bigger front lines. I think we will finish in the top 3 in the WC, but the playoffs are a different animal. Surely you people know that this perimeter oriented, 3pt shooting, run and gun frenzy doesn’t hold up in the playoffs. If Blair and/or Splitter don’t make significant contributions by the regular seasons end, we WILL NOT be lifting trophy #5.

    BTW, I would definitely consider trading Blair, but I’ve heard rumors that he is having knee trouble. I’ve searched in an attempt to verifiy or deny these rumors, but have come up empty. IF these rumors are true, Blair’s trade value would be zero.

  • td4life

    It’s true that the Spurs struggle against big, talented front lines with Dallas, Minny, and even the Clippers showing evidance that we will struggle against Boston, LA, and Dallas this season. Trading Hill is probably not the answer b/c good long bigs are hard to find. In the past, I proposed midseason trades for Camby and Tyrus Thomas, summer packages for Chandler, and was definitely in the pro-Shaquille O’Neal camp, but there is not much available any more. If you want a quality big, you have to ship out a package including some of our bigs going. We don’t need the 5 we have, if we have a better top 3 as our front court rotation, with an insurance #4. Right now, we actually have a good big sitting on the bench named Tiago Splitter. No good excuse for not playing him more in Los Angeles a few games back.

    Pop loves guys with system knowledge… that’s Bonner and Dice. Pop loves guys who can spread the floor, that’s Bonner, Dice, and small ball. However, rather than trading for a guy that will likely underachieve such as Thompson, or another older player who doesn’t know the system like Murphy, we could simply use Tiago more and improve our front court rotation.

    I’ve said Blair might move to the bench once we get 2 or more straight losses. We haven’t had that. I watched them here and there and Dallas is scary good though.

    I propose simply playing Tiago more along side Parker. If you play Manu, Timmy, RJ, Neal or Hill, along with Bonner or Dice. You can have a terrorizing unit of TP, Splitter, Blair (using more of his natural game) or Dice, plus Hill or Neal in the backcourt.

    It may not happen this year at all, it may not happen until after the break, but if you put Tiago next to Parker, you have some reliable scoring… and you look for perimeter D, rebounding, and shooting from the other 3 guys on the floor.

    Bonner is showing value, but as our current #2 big, we are not developing the defensive prowess we need against Dallas, LA, etc. Hopefully Pop’s days of playing Splitter less than 10 minutes a night are over. Next, we have to find the rotation that will extract maximum value out of him for a consistent 15-20mpg. Last night Bonner outperfomed most other bigs in fewer minutes, but he had the advantage of being included in the offense. The next step is to either run some plays for Tiago within the second unit, or play him next to a Tony or a Manu who will utilize him. If we want him mainly for defensive purposes, simply more minutes next to a leader like McDyess will help him learn the Spurs brand of NBA ball more rapidly.

    Taigo has had plenty of time to get his conditioning back, he is a very smart player who does a lot very well, including position defense. But Pop is clearly showing a preferance for Bonner, and that’s nothing a trade would fix.

  • Tyler

    While we played well (and shot the ball well), it’s tough to draw many conclusions when your opponent essentially lays down.

    This game was over from the opening tap. NO looked lethargic, sluggish. They put up next to no resistance on the defensive end.

  • Tyler

    @td4life

    I would contend that Tiago’s playing time is being limited by Pop for a reason – wear and tear – not necessarily a preference for Bonner.

    Since the beginning of the Spanish ACB (preseason starts in September), Splitter hasn’t had a break – the longest stretch of rest was his honeymoon (when he signed his contract). He’s been playing non-stop for over 14 straight months essentially. I don’t care how young you are, playing that long without rest takes a toll on your body.

    I believe Tiago’s calf injury in the preseason has led Pop to integrate Splitter more slowly than he otherwise would. And quite frankly, this early in the season, I’m fine with that. I’d be surprised if his playing time changed much before the All-Star break. And as well as Bonner is playing, we might as well let him eat up all the minutes he can right now.

    I think the plan is to bring Tiago along slowly for the time being. Integrate and acclimate him, while trying to mitigate the risk of another injury. However, closer to the All-Star break (maybe even after), I think you will see his minutes start to increase.

  • Mo

    Going is good for the Spurs. However, like most of the postings which is forward looking I am wondering whether we will see us preparing for the playoffs after maybe 50 games.

    I am not certain if trading Hill will get us anything decent. He fits well with the Spurs but we can’t have outlandish expectations via trades, just ‘cos he is one of Pop’s favorites. His offense(creation) is limited and I do not agree that he is great defender. Couple of concerns, i) he gets beat when somebody sets a good screen he is not always in good position to recover ( last year playoffs vs the Suns) ii) he helps more often than necessary probably due to the reason that many ( him included) believe that he is great. He is a good on the ball defender( only area he is better than Parker) but not good at positioning himself for guys who are constantly on the move. He has the work ethic to be an Good to above average player.

    Bigs and defense matter in playoffs, hope we find time to develop someone before the end of regular season to lay beside Timmy.

  • z_dogg20@hotmail.com

    @ Tyler

    I think you are absolutely correct. We’ve already had Manu and Tony supplying subpar seasons after playing in world championships during the summer. the FO has learned how to deal with extended summer games and are keeping Splitter’s minutes down, essentially giving him an “active rest” during the first part of this season.

    Blair put together some productive minutes, finally. 10-8 on 5-7 shooting is pretty decent. His defense on West was marginal, keeping West out of the paint pretty well but giving up several jump shots. All in all, a nice step in the right direction. Let’s see how he fares against David Lee tomorrow.

  • TheRed&Black

    @ Tyler,

    I agree with you 100%. This is also why I believe Pop is a better coach. He isn’t afraid to lose a game in order to keep his team healthy. Can’t say the same for that Zen lunatic out in LA LA land.

  • td4life

    Tyler,

    I hope you are right and we will see Tiago get more on-court minutes (especially alongside TP) as the season progresses. Although that seems like an optimistic assumption on your part. With this current lengthy homestand, Splitter should gain some good practice and system knowledge… I will be looking to see if that transfers to any rotational changes which can test and deepen his learning process, and the team’s with him on the floor.

  • rob

    I’m in agreement with all who are suggesting the Spurs will need a good front court to comnpete against the LA’s, Mav’s, Celtic’s, etc.

    That may come towards the end of the season with the group the Spurs have now. But it’s still a question of if at this point and not when.

    Tiago and Blair are the two that need to up there performance in other categories to be consider legitimate hopefulls to compete against the playoff bound teams I mentioned.

    Is it too early at this point to think about trade?…more than likely yes without giving Blair or Splitter time to become better.

    But it could also be too late if waiting longer to decide if a possibility to land a legitiment big is needed to help push the Spurs through the playoffs.

    One can’t be unhappy with what’s happened thus far. And the contention of don’t fix it if it ain’t broke just might as well be the best thing to do.

    But one trade I would propose to look at if it were ever to be something the Spurs were seriously considering this year is trading Parker and Blair for Evans and Thompson of the Kings.

    Kings are obviously going to be in a rebuild mode. But without veteran leadereship to infuse with the youth….that’s going to be a long venture. Spurs get a legitiment big who needs a different system to excell his talents and an up and coming all star caliber pg in Evans who just might be wanting out as well. Throw in a first round pick and the Kings have a veteran mvp pg to provide leadership and Blair as a compliment to them losing Thompson. Plus a top first round pick if they achieve a losing season this year.

    Of course that would mean the Spurs losing some games during the season until Evans and Thompson get acclimated….but a chance I would be willing to take to sure up the front court while also not losing out in our backcourt with the development of Evans on this team.

  • SG

    Our front-court is fine…once the playoffs roll around, TD and McDyess will probably start against the big front courts of Dallas/LA/Boston…if we face them.

    Off the bench, we’ll have the 3 stooges. Bonner, should only play 10+ min, if he hits 1 out of his first 3 shots. I’ve seen him play after missing his initial shots…not very effective. Blair can play well against a Chandler type guy (not the main offense)…he’s got to rebound & defend…he can do that well. Splitter…i’m not so sure about if he will crack the rotation much in the playoffs this year. Kinda sad, because his “ceiling” is much higher than Bonner/Blair/McDyess. He just needs his mo-jo. Without playing time, there is no way he will be effective.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    Hey everybody….quick question…did Jim fall off a cliff or something? I have not noticed any postings by him lately. What gives?

  • Gary

    Didn’t see a Spurs team this hype since a long time

  • syd

    I’d be very surprised if we made any moves any time soon. And despite my feeling that Blair is a piece worth considering moving at some point, I think that point is not during the season.

    Despite our uncertain post depth, each of the five guys offers skills that are vaulable , depending on the opponent. I think that, unless we have some sort of collapse or injury, we’re better off sticking with what we’ve got for the time being and as much as possible, letting Blair and Splitter rack up the MPG and experience as the season progresses. The more they play now, the more they can be depended on in the post-season.

    Blair is inconsistent but effective againt the right oppponent. Splitter just needs more court time. Remember, he missed all of preseason. He’s still got months in which to learn and adapt to the system. I suspect he’ll be a major rotation player by March, which seems like a workable timetable.

    At this point, I don’t see any reason to bring in a big who would have to learn the system on the fly. Now, if we could get a former Spur on the cheap, that might be worth discussing, but anyone we could get would only change things around the margins.

    I don’t think we’re quite as good as our record (lots of home game and and weak opponents) but it’s hard to justify any kind of major change right now.

  • td4life

    rob–

    A trade is virtually guaranteed not to happen… the spurs passed on much better trade windows than they face going forward, and have little reason to second guess themselves with the best record. Blair is still coming along. Splitter has learning ahead of him… SA will not seek disrupt chemistry, which aside from everything else would challenge the development of Blair and our 3 rookies.

    That said, there is no way Sactown trades their young ROY ticket seller, just because he is struggling a bit in his second season. They have said Cousins is not being shopped, you can be SURE Evans isn’t. They might like to move Thompson, but he is more versatile than Blair. Blair is unnecessary when they have Landry. Thompson is also soft, and isn’t really what we need.

    The Spurs passed on half a dozen bigs from expirings for Camby or Thomas, to freebie signings Shaq, Damp, and Amundson. The Spurs signed Bonner and Splitter. Like it or not, look to the development of Blair and Splitter, count on increased minutes for McD in the playoffs, and hope for increased consistency from Bonner, and leave it at that.

  • Bankshot21

    George Hill is too good to trade for anything less than a 2009 or better All-Star. Anyone further removed from All-Star status I wouldn’t trade for with George Hill as the player leaving in the trade.

    Our bigs are fine. Minnesota and Clippers have 2 of the premiere young bigs this league has to offer. The other teams LA and Boston have veteran bigs which also happens to be what we have.

    I’m not too worried about Dallas. They match up with us the best but come playoff time I feel we’ll be able to pull out close games unlike last year against the Suns. What many have seemed to forget is our Spurs would have likely taken the Spurs for a ride if Manu didn’t get that nasty broken nose. He was tearing the league a new one before that. Let’s worry less about how we match up against others and more on how do they match up with us. TP has a 7 year history of owning J-Kidd. We’re as good as our record indicates and anyone who feels different is slightly pessimistic.

  • Dr. Who

    @Alix Babaie

    I was wondergin the same thing. If we post some article about a Blair trade for a back-up PG we’ll probably see him surface :)

    Looks like there are a ton of people that agree and see the writing ont he wall. Fantastic start but we have been struggling with even the lesser talented teams that have a big front court. I agree with posters that state we will not make a trade. We’ve not made trades when we had much worse records and much poorer play. I think a lot nags on Taigo’s development. While he’s being brought in slowly, I really hope he turns the corner becuase I havent seen much to think he’s really all that special. I expected little to nothing on offense from Tiago but woozers after a shot he’s nowhere near the basket and does it seem like he sets an aweful lot of moving screens. The season is young and he hasn’t had much PT, but I’d think we’d see promise at this point. It was good to get him some quality garbage time minutes against D West a premiere post player (even if he was a bit sick/off). Hopefully more burn translates into better play defensively and some offensive putbacks. We saw Blair and Bonner play well against the #2’s. Bonner was feeling it last night for sure. as critical as we/I am of Bonner at least when he’s on, he can do one thing really well space the floor (oh yeah and score points while doing it). Tiago… we haven’t really seen him “on” yet. I hope we do at some point. We’ll need him when we take on the longer teams. New Orleans isn’t a long team thank goodness.

    P.S.
    BLAIR SUCKS WE SHOULD TRADE HIM!!!!!!
    Just fishing for Jim :) :) :)

  • rob

    td4life

    “Like it or not, look to the development of Blair and Splitter, count on increased minutes for McD in the playoffs, and hope for increased consistency from Bonner, and leave it at that.”

    Oh I as much said the same before posting the trade package of Evans and Thompson.

    In essence what I was eluding to was that unless it was a trade of that magnitude…we shouldn’t look for anything to transpire this year.

  • Greyberger

    Just some suggestions:

    If you’re proposing a two-for-one trade to get a frontcourt player, make sure he can stay healthy and play a lot of minutes and in a lot of combinations. Five is a perfect frontcourt when two are old, two are new, and the other is Matt Bonner. Four is probably too thin unless you get us Bogut.

    If you’re talking about trading Blair, it might be better to wait and see if Pop makes a change in the starting rotation, and how Blair responds. Blair already gets the same playing time as Bonner or Dice, perhaps even a bit less if you trim the garbage time from your reckoning. A change of who he’s playing with or against might do him some good.

    Maybe he just needs to play out of his slump. We certainly won’t get a quality big back with Blair as our bait if we make him out to be disposable.

  • td4life

    Splitter had something of a breakout game against Cleveland leading all our bigmen in minutes and collecting 18 points on 7 0f 10 shooting.

    I propose a consistent 10-12 minutes pairing Tony and Tiago together for the time being. Not that more offense is really what the Spurs need, but it can’t hurt to get Tiago going.

  • td4life

    2010-11 Net Production by Position vs. Opponents
    aka. “net positional PER vs Opponents’ PER by Position”

    (82games.com)

    …….. SA ….. Dal ….. Bos…..LAL….Mia….LAC…. Min
    PG +5.1 …..+2.2 ….+3.0….-10.0….+0.5…-6.0 ….-4.7
    SG +6.1 …..+3.9 ….+4.2….+13.5….+6.3…..0.6….-7.4
    SF +6.0 …..+1.4 ….+6.4…..+4.1…..+13.5…-8.9….-7.4
    PF -3.4 …..+5.03…+4.6….+2.9……-1.4….+1.9….+7.1
    C +3.1 ….. +0.1…..+1.7….+5.5…..+0.5…..-2.0….-3.9

    bigs -0.3….+5.13….+6.3…..+8.4…..-0.9….-0.1…..+3.2
    total+16.9.+12.26..+19.7….+16….+19.9..-14.4….-16.3

    Notes:
    Only Bos and Dal are net positive at every position, both of these teams got off to relatively slow starts.

    LAL’s +8.4 bigmen PER is without a soon-to-return Bynum.

    Bryant and Lebron are once again MVP candidates, offsetting a low producing PG rotation (LA), and weak front court (Mia). Each of these stars are aided at their position by Shannon Brown and James Jones, respectively.

    On a weak team, the Timberwolves center production is their second strongest position. Clippers’ center production is their third strongest, or third weakest position. Love and Griffin are producing, obviously.

  • td4life

    typo on MIA total PER is off by .5 and is +19.4 not +19.9

  • Dr. Who

    Tiago logging minutes with Manu would be nice. It’s only offense which isnt really needed, but Manu gives many chances easy to score and get into the flow of the game. This worked well with a young Blair last year. I just want to see the guy produce. We really don’t know what he can do as of yet.

  • mac

    td4life,

    If the playoffs started today, SA would face LA in the 2nd round, Dallas in the 3rd, and Boston in the Finals if the top seeds all advanced. That’s some stiff competition. Increased rebounding from Blair, and increased scoring from Splitter would help your PER numbers, and would be useful against the teams just named. I would like to see our rebounding go up. The other thing is that better defense out of SA’s young big men would also serve to improve their net PER versus opposing bigmen. Just to make a case for the obvious.

  • The Beat Counselor

    Nice perimeter jump shot with a hand in his face by Blair during garbage time…

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  • cruzan gold

    Leave it to Bonner to ruin an otherwise perfect quarter.

  • Dr. Who

    @the Beat Councelor

    Yep yep, noticed that as well. Blair has played well against other teams second units. He had a nice throw down as well.

  • http://espn.com texas j

    at this point we may have the best record, but the mavs are most certainly the better team. no question about. their smalls match up with our smalls (barea, boo boo, kidd, and terry)(remember boo boo has been injured thus far and is a great player), and their bigs (haywood, dirk, chandler,marion(tweeter type player can play sf/pf)) not only match up, but are better. ALOT better IMHO. Thier sf group is just as good seeing as caron and marion are both better players than our reserves and are only slightly less productive, in tandem, at this point than RJ. If we dont make a trade to sure up our weaknesses against the mavs front line they are going to own us. Both in the regular season and in the postseason. if a trade of hill, blair, picks, or a combination of the 3 is what it takes then we must do it or this fantasy of being contenders is gonna to blow up right in our faces….