San Antonio Spurs 112, Phoenix Suns 110

by

Who would’ve thought four shots from one spot on the floor could mean so much? If the Richard Jefferson reclamation project needed a tidy little bow on it, RJ obliged on Wednesday night at the US Airways Center.

Jefferson hit four of five 3-pointers on his way to 28 points for the San Antonio Spurs in their 112-110 win over the Suns. Jefferson hit six of six free throws and grabbed four rebounds on the night too.

It was a far cry from Jefferson’s first game in Phoenix last season, when he scored just four points, shot 2-7 from the field and didn’t attempt a 3-pointer. It was a performance that in part lead to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich telling the media afterward, “We had too many pathetic games from too many people.”

No, this wasn’t that. But really, it was all about those four shots, especially the three that came in as many possessions.

The first one was in the offense, a good play off a excellent pass from James Anderson. Jefferson should know that the long 2-pointer is the most inefficient shot in basketball, so he made sure to step back behind the line as he was gathering the ball.

The second one was just for kicks. He was open, so why not take it?

The third one? Well, that was a big middle finger to last season.

But the game wasn’t over with those nine straight points. The Suns still held the lead late in the game. And when it was needed, and any demons from last season might have crept back during crunch time, Richard Jefferson made sure they were dead and buried. Same shot. Same corner.

[Update: Our guy Bassy at NBA Playbook broke down Jefferson's fourth 3-pointer, make sure to check that out.]

Enjoy the video, folks.

Again, sorry for the wonky quality. I’m still working out some kinks in our video process.

  • zainn

    omgg if splitter and jefferson keep playing like this, then I’m pretty sure we’ll dethrone the lakers. Manu, blair, and parker had absymal games, and were all somewhat inconsistent. RJ saved us tonight, and anderson showed his true worh on defense tonight. And the duncan blair combo is NOT working, they’re aruging about rotations on offense all the time, preventing duncan from using his post game, and making him shoot jump shots. Duncan mcdyess start, and blair splitter off the bench, vets and youngans off the bench. I think we’re seeing some better defense w/o bonner, but him with duncan/blair works as well. Overall we got very lucky with RJ hitting those threes, and our defense could be better with the lineup I suggested.

  • http://www.operaforthemasses.com David G

    probably asking a lot but if Jefferson played at 80 percent of this every night the Spurs would be be considered favorites along with the Heat, Lakers, and Celtics.

  • Sriram

    Wow! Sweet retribution tonight!! Without the turnovers we are a fabulous team.

  • td4life

    Love it!

    I also like what we see out of James Anderson just finding his way on the Spurs, and making several good plays, including a steal followed by a bucket, and a nice three pointer. Smart, composed player. Really looking forward to seeing him develop.

  • td4life

    Hey TradeTp…

    I was never in much disagreement with you regarding Parker, and am not sure if we shouldn’t give more minutes to Hill, Neal, and even Temple, except that if we are considering trading TP down the line, we are best off keeping his value as high as possible.
    That said, I have to wonder if RJ’s emergence, and Manu as a starter, will crush any possibility that some Spurs’ fans dream about of TP being an All-Star again this season. Now, I seem to remember you being (unlike myself) in favor of Richard Jefferson all along, and hanging Popovich for not adapting the schemes to suit his talents… HOWEVER, surely you must admit in some deep private part of yourself that the credit for RJ’s seeming transformation this year has to be a credit to the summer spent with Pop. We still have to contend with an FO that reupped Bonner, while making no move for a Tyson Chandler, but it must be dawning on you that Popovich is not the worst coach we could have in charge. I mean, looking at RJ this year, that is some coaching job right there.

  • Hobson13

    This was another crazy Spurs/Suns game. There were a number of big swings in the 4th quarter in which the game could have been won or lost. I know we’re only 4 games into the season, but this team has the potential to be a formidable opponent.

    Tonight, Tony played very poorly, Blair had another bad game, we had 23 (YES 23!!) turnovers on the road, and a number of our younger guys played significant minutes (Splitter, Anderson, Blair, and Temple) yet we still hung in there and won this game. Here were some of my take aways.

    1. Our defense wasn’t as terrible as the score might indicate. We limited them to 46% shooting from the field. They just attempted 15 more shots due to our incessant turnover problem.
    2. RJ was unreal
    3. After several games of looking subpar, Duncan looked like MVP material. I think this is what we can expect from Duncan for much of this season. Some nights he’s very human, other nights, he’s the two time MVP.
    4. Anderson is going to be a decent contributor this year. Two of those RJ threes were due to very good passes from JA. He’s shooting the 3 pretty well plus he’s had one block in each of his last 3 games. It’s going to be interesting to see this young man develop.
    5. Simmons appears to be the odd man out. He’s registered only 15 total minutes in 4 games. Maybe he will prove more valuable later on in the season, but I’d be surprised to see Pop play him much if Anderson continues to be this productive.
    6. Splitter is getting some decent time, but I think it will be several weeks before he replaces Blair in the starting lineup. Splitter needs more time to get in game shape and adapt to the NBA. His performance was encouraging with 7 pts and 3 rebs in 15 min. He’ll get much better, but it will take a bit of time.

    This was a very interesting game. It showed we had heart and refused to lose in spite of our repeated mistakes. It will be interesting to see what this team can look like when all of the Big 4 play well, Blair finds his way, Hill is healthy, and Tiago is integrated. In all reality, if we had showed this kind of intensity in the NO game, we’d be sitting at 4-0.

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  • grego

    In 4 games this season now (even before this game he was shooting 64% fg and 40% 3pt):

    30 mpg
    20 ppg
    65% fg (on 10 fga/game)
    53.3% 3pt (on 3 3pt fga/game)
    3.3 rpg
    2 apg
    1.5 to/game

  • grego

    Dice was solid even if the numbers don’t say it fully. Pop might put Dice as the starter once Bonner is back and just pull him out sooner to keep his minutes lower until Tiago can start.

    Blair needs to see more second unit guys. He just doesn’t have the abilities fully developed enough to take on some of the starters.

    Duncan had a great game because he had very little resistance on the offense end. He’s going to coast for a while, and I hope he does to some degree. He needs those legs in late spring/summer.

    If RJ can help carry the scoring load with some of the other guys to make the team more well rounded, things should go well this season for the Spurs.

  • Jim Henderson

    Could we drop the calls for Blair not to start? The kid’s 21 years old, and needs time to adapt. Give it a rest. If he has a phase where he’s not playing well (very common in young players) then Pop will just have to give him fewer minutes whether he’s starting or not. One cannot possibly judge whether Blair can play effectively with Duncan based on 4 freaking games. And even though we haven’t played that well as a team so far, the fact is we’re still 3-1 with Blair in the starting line-up. Given the proper amount of time, there’s no reason that Blair can’t play well with Duncan.

    Obviously in tonight’s game RJ saved our ass.

    There were three major reasons for that:

    (1) We are still not defending well for more than spurts. This seems to our most consistent, and potentially most serious problem.
    (2) We are having problems taking care of the ball. 23 turnovers tonight was RIDICULOUS! What’s worse, it was a minus ten to the Suns. And it’s not just tonight. Thus far this season we’re in the bottom ten in the league in turnovers (we’re usually in the top ten for fewest turnovers). The only positive in this regard is that prior to tonight we were creating more turnovers than we were giving up, and creating more turnovers than we had in the recent past. Hopefully tonight was the aberration on that front.
    (3) We are not rebounding as a team to our potential. Again, we are thus far in the middle of the pack league-wise, when we’re usually in the top ten, if not the top five. The following players are under-performing on rebounds, and need to get their ass on the glass, pronto: Manu, RJ, Anderson, Blair, Bonner, & Splitter.

    In fact, if I have a gripe with Blair at this point, it’s his significant slippage on the offensive glass compared to his rookie year. Rookie year 4.8 orb. per 36 mins. — this year just 3.2 orb. per 36 mins. That’s a 33% reduction, and a drop in offensive boards as a team is the main reason that our total rebound rate is substandard this year. We need people to crash the offensive boards, and Blair’s one of the best guys to do it. He’s a natural. He’s got to get it going there, and I think he will, but that’s one area in which I’ll have less patience with him. Hopefully the coaches are helping him figure out what the problem is in the early going of this season. We need to get this corrected, and soon.

    We have the struggling Rockets on Friday. They’re a very talented team that will be starving for a victory. I hope we come prepared with max energy. Let’s make it 4-1 heading into Charlotte next Monday!

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    Pop always tinkers with the lineups, especially before the all star break. No doubt, Blair won’t get the start some games and it won’t mean that he’s in Pop’s doghouse.

    Pop tinkers, us fans should know that.

  • McShane

    Jefferson with FOUR corner threes!

    Wow.

  • BigJ

    Great finish by the Spurs. Encouraging to see this early in the season especially considering all of the turnovers.

    I’m curious to see how the team grows once their familiarity increases. There is a lot of room for improvement here.

  • David R.

    Who gave Steve Kerr that RJ costume?

  • New York City

    I had to suffer through the Phoenix broadcast of the game last night. No excitement whatsoever for Jefferson raining threes. Meanwhile I was losing my mind and thought Bruce Bowen had returned. Same bald head. Same corner. You have no idea how happy I am to hear the SA feed!

    Speaking of Bruce Bowen, there was one possession late in the 4th where we actually rotated well and suffocated their offense until they used up all their clock and turned the ball over. Reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve seen what used to be our trademark defense, and it gave me chills.

    After four games, it seems that we’ve found the 3pt shooting we need. If we can just get back to our defensive glory, then we’ve got a real shot of contending for the ring.

  • bduran

    I definitely don’t think Blair sucked last night. He certainly made some mistakes and I hate to see 3 TOs in 19 minutes, but he made some plays on both ends. He displayed some nice passing and showed some things on D. One of TDs blocks was assisted by Blair because he got a hand on the bounce pass slowing down the ball which gave TD enough time to rotate. He also made some bad plays, but that’s the kind of thing that improves with playing time. Also, he showed off his excellent rebounding again in this game with 7 in 19 minutes. All in all I thought he looked young, but showed a much better ability to operate on the floor with TD last night. We were +9 with him last night on the floor last night in a game we won by two. All in all I was encouraged.

    I thought Temple was terrible, Hill needs to come back. Anderson’s play continues to show a lot of promise. He (and the other wings) needs to help more on those long rebounds though. That really hurt us last night. Not sure why Neal didn’t get more minutes.

    TP and Manu didn’t play great but both of them made great drives to the basket during the game. I definitely think both of them will return to form as they get back into the swing of things. I think what we’re seeing now if the effects of taking the summer off. We’ll be greatful for it later.

  • Tyler

    This early in the season, I think it’s more important to focus on the positives:
    -23 TO’s and we still found a way to win
    -our perimeter shooting is much, much improved over last season
    -wing play; RJ, Anderson, and Neal have all surprised
    -we were able to win w/o Hill and a sub-par game from TP (who usually torches PHX) and Blair
    -much more depth/talent than last year; we have a legit 11 man rotation right now
    -Splitter showed flashes again; the up and under against Warrick was nice, as was the rebound and putback; he’ll fit in just fine.

    In regards to Blair, he’ll figure it out. It seems like he trying to do too much; he’s rushing. He’s young and learning how to operate in a new role. Of all the guys on the team, he’s one of the last I’d worry about.

    Good all-around team victory in a tough environment. Very encouraging….

  • idahospur

    There’s that corner 3. It was over in the corner all this time!

  • junierizzle

    So glad they won this one. I’m sure it will do wonders for their confidence.

    RJ! He’s been playing like we all thought he would. He did have a handful of games like that last year but they were spread out through out the season. So far he has had four good consecutive games.

    I loved TIAGO’s post move. It was very nice. Can’t wait to see him with more minutes under him.

    TOO MANY Turnovers though. They could have put it away early but I think they had 3 straight turnovers at one point that lead to the SUNS taking the lead late. Then RJ saved the day.

    Luckily TO’s is something that can be fixed.

    I think they look good after 4 games. They could easily be 4-0 if they didn’t go cold for four minutes against the Hornets. But hey 3-1 is better than 1-3.

  • Mike T

    I can’t wait to see Tiago get more minutes. He could lead the league in charges drawn. He got 2 in 15 minutes last night and there was one other that was so close that they initially called it a charge. His free throw stroke is UGLY, though. He’ll fit in perfectly!

  • RG8907

    23 turnovers, a bad night for Parker, no Hill and Bonner, and we still win! what a great game from RJ!

    but hey, guys, we need to congrat Timmy D on passing Gervin as the 2nd all-time scoring leader for the Spurs! only 81 more points to go before he passes The Admiral!

  • DaveMan77

    Get used to the To’s lot of younger guys on the floor that’s what they do. Got to take the good with the bad. Remember 03 with Parker, Manu, Jackson, and Claxton they turned the ball over all the time but we had the defense to compensate. Defense in spurts is not going to cut it.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Nice game from RJ. I’m excited that he’s doing so well so far.

    Timmy was solid again, adding 17 rebounds to his 25 points.

    Blair needs to start coming off the bench. He’s over-matched by starting big men. Plus, I think he got used to being option 1 or 2 during the pre-season and he’s having a hard time adjusting back to option 5. When Splitter gains the trust of Pop, I expect him to start and Blair to come off the bench.

    Manu is Manu and Tony had 9 assists. Don’t look now, but Tony’s averaging more assists than Nash.

    Splitter looked solid and seemed like he was mentally in the game. He had a great offensive rebound, up-fake, put-back, made the bucket, and got the foul. It doesn’t look like he’s Euro soft. He does have a terrible looking FT shot, like others have mentioned.

    I thought Temple did a good job on Nash in limited minutes. It’s seemed like Temple’s length bothered him a little.

    Anderson was solid yet again. He reminds me a little of James Harden from OKC. Just a trustworthy, all around player.

    Neal didn’t get much burn, but he’ll get his chance when match-ups dictate.

    23 turnovers is just dumb, although we won the game. If we cut the TO’s in half, we win by 15.

  • zainn

    lol, manu was being very stupid with the ball in the fourth quarter, but he’s still manu…

  • DRob

    Watching Splitter shoot FTs is like watching Barkley hit golf balls.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @DRob

    +5

  • Ravi

    This season reminds me of the 2002-03 season..

    That yr, we had a really veteran group (Willis, Kerr, Steve Smith, Danny) who din’t play much but were instrumental in bringing the group younger guys along (Manu, TP, Stephen Jackson, Speedy)…

    Now we have (Timmy, Manu, TP, Mcdyess) who as veterans play a lot more, compared to the 2003 veterans, but have the same role in guiding the younger players (JA, Temple, Neal, Blair, Hill, Tiago etc)….

    I remember Pop, in one of the early game post-game interviews during the 2002/03 season, said “there is some inexperience out there (Jackson, TP, Manu) which lead to mistakes and we are hoping to cut it bit-by-bit as the season progresses”…..

    Similarly, i think this season we might see a few more turnovers etc early this season….but once everyone is on same page, it will get a lot better..

    Cause we will need the youngsters to step up and win us some playoff games (like Manu/TP/Jackson/Speedy did in 02/03) and it’s great these guys are throw into the fire (so to speak!)..

    Go Spurs…here’s hoping for a repeat of the 2002-03 season……

  • BayAreaSpursFam

    Now that my Giants have won the World Series, I am ready for my Spurs to make a run at the Lakers. The season is early but I like the way things are looking. The key is that the big three stay healthy. Go Spurs Go!

  • BayAreaSpursFan

    Oops

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

    How ’bout them Spurs!! They are looking great from an offensive standpoint but do need to work on cutting down on the TOs and D up some but gosh, 3-1 is a great start! With R-Jeff learning to do what he needs to do in this Spurs system, this team has a real legit shot at dethroning the Fakers. GO SPURS GO, WIN ONE FOR THE THUMB!!!!!

  • Jim Henderson

    ThatBigGuy
    November 4th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    “Blair needs to start coming off the bench. He’s over-matched by starting big men.”

    Okay, for the handful of you that keep wanting to assert the rather knee-jerk reaction to the 21 year old Blair’s subpar performance over just FOUR games by sending him back to the bench with his tail between his legs, I present you with the following data:

    Blair STARTED 23 games last season. Games 7 & 8, games 25-31, games 33-43, games 58 & 59, and game 82. By the way, in all those games he started alongside Duncan.

    During those games we played about the same proportion of “playoff opponents” as we did during the rest of the year.

    Our win-loss record during Blair’s starts (14-9) resulted in the same winning percentage as the rest of our games (61%).

    During Blair’s starts he averaged 23.4 mpg., 8.8 ppg., and 8.4 rpg. This translates into 36 mpg. averages of 13.5 ppg., and 12.9 rpg. For the season Blair’s ppg. and rpg. per 36 minutes was 15.4 ppg., and 12.7 rpg, respectively.

    So, playing with our starters more, and against opponent starters more, Blair scored a bit less, but rebounded a little more per minute of court time compared to his production as a non-starter. And of course it’s normal that Blair would score a bit less as a starter because he was playing more with our star’s and leading scorers.

    So, with the foregoing data in mind, how does one come up with an early exit from the starting line-up for Blair with the team winning 3 of its first 4 games? You think he’s not as good of a player at age 21 versus age 20? You think it’s smarter to start a 36 year old that claims this will probably have to be his last year in the league? You want to anoint Splitter already, even though he’s just come off a month layoff from injury, has only played TWO nba games for a grand total of 25 minutes, and will never be the rebounder that Blair is (nor does he have the athleticism of Blair, and his front court partner TD has now lost much of his)? You want to start Bonner?!!

    Please try to make a rational case if you want to mess with the starting line-up at this EARLY juncture. Take a step back and rethink this.

    “Plus, I think he got used to being option 1 or 2 during the pre-season and he’s having a hard time adjusting back to option 5.”

    You think that’s an insurmountable adjustment? Really?!

  • SAJKinBigD

    Something you wanna tell us, BASF? Y’all expecting an addition to the Family out there? ;P
    Btw, congrats to your Giants on the win over my Rangers. Tough series all-around, but your bats were more impressive than I had been lead to believe!

    As to last night’s game. Tough one on the road against an athletic and streaky-shooting team, but the D actually held the shooting to under 45%, and really only Dudley (3-3), Childress (3-4) and Warrick (7-9) shot over 50%. Nash had to take 22 shots for his 19 points and Richardson 18 for his 21, with both making only 8. TOs were horrific, but with a relatively frenetic pace, a few are to be expected. Still I’d like to see that number at least 5 or 6 lower in this type of game.
    All things considered, a win is a win, and with Houston coming in winless Saturday (be wary, Spurs) some rest beforehand after a win will be all the sweeter!
    Go Spurs Go!

  • Jim Henderson

    Should we consider inquiring about this guy for some veteran defensive depth on the perimeter? He was a factor in getting the Nuggets to WCF’s 2 years ago.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/rumors/post/Pacers-have-Dahntay-Jones-on-trading-block?urn=nba-282468

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  • SAJKinBigD

    JH: Are you talking about swapping him for Simmons? If he’s having that difficult a time getting quality shots off for the Pacers, is he only gonna be a defensive sub? Something about him reminds me of Udoka.

  • bduran

    “You think it’s smarter to start a 36 year old that claims this will probably have to be his last year in the league? You want to anoint Splitter already, even though he’s just come off a month layoff from injury, has only played TWO nba games for a grand total of 25 minutes”

    This is a good point. Even if Blair ends up best serving us on the bench this year, we need him there now. Even if McDyess proves himself to be our second best big, I wouldn’t want to start him until towards the end if it all in order to keep his minutes down. Also, Splitter is clearly not ready, although I think most of us like what we’ve seen in limited minutes. So yeah, it’s Blair for at least 20 games or so I’d say. That will certainly give us a decent sample size to evaluate him in.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    All this talk of who to start isn’t applicable to the Spurs.

    How many times has Pop changed the lineups before the break? Every year Pop tweeks the lineup many times . He starts different combinations and experiements with the player rotations so that he has a good feel of the team by the end of the year.

    All this jabbering about whether Blair should start or not sounds like talk radio.

    As Spurs fans, we should be better than this.

  • christian

    @jim henderson
    i love blair, i absolutely love him, but i think his main flaw is that he’s too short. so i think its best that we don’t overplay him, at least not now. either way i think pop is going to figure out who needs to be out there at what time. i know we only saw limited action from splitter, but man did he impress me. the charges he took, the offensive rebounds, the and 1’s. he’s damn smart. splitter may not be ready right now, but i dont think its going to be long until he is to get major minutes. we’re talking about the euroleague mvp. nevertheless, i am extremely excited about this season. i was excited when we were starting off the year 1-3, now its the other way around. i believe!

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    Blair will continue to get starts to find his role in the lineup and work out of his funk. Splitter will get starts as soon as he’s in game shape. Dice will get a couple starts just to see what Blair and Splitter do as a combo on the 2nd unit. Heck, Bonner might actually get a few starts just for kicks.

  • Bentley

    RJ was completely amazing last night. I’m pretty sure the last three of the 3-pointers he made didnt even touch the rim when they went through. I look forward to watching RJ get even better as the season progresses.

    I’m fine with Blair starting or coming off the bench, provided he stays aggressive on the rebounds and gets his patented easy putbacks, and two he plays hard and brings energy. Number 45 is still very young, but he is going to be very good, he just needs time to develop his game during the season. I see him doing much better in the next 10 games.

    Tim Duncan did what he wanted to on the offensive end. But what really worries me is his inability to defend the P&R. Chris Paul and now Steve Nash are having their way against the Spurs, and I only wonder if all the other NBA teams are going to continually put Tim im pick and roll situations to exploit his weakness.

    But he was clutch with his block on Hakim Warrick towards the end of the game. I like that.

    Looks like Splitter is still feeling his way around, he took a few charges, but most of the charges he took shouldve been called blocks because his feet were in the restricted zone, Splitter will get better at this too.

    I would love to see James Anderson and Gary Neal get more minutes. They played very well last night(especially Anderson) and Temple did a great job as well.

    Don’t underestimate Houston. Even though they are winless, they have had a tough opening schedule..but they are still a really good team

  • rj

    splitter will have to learn to go up stronger. getting his shot blocked by childress is unacceptable. we got a good look at what he will bring this year. duncan looks like he will get some rest this year

  • Dr. Leonard McCoy

    Damnit Jim! I’m a Spurs fan, not a surgeon! LOL! (Great post though!)

  • Jacques

    Got sick and tired of seeing dragic and nash successfully use pick and roll…. omg i know by now I should be used to this, but it was too much. Defense needs to better! Go Spurs!

  • Colin

    Great game. Good signs from RJ thus far. I think the Spurs have improved greatly since last year. Neal, Anderson, and Splitter all will make valuable contributions in the rotation. This to go with RJ’s improvements, Parker and Ginobili in good health (no summer playing international too) will make the Spurs competitive with just about any team in the league in a 7 game series. 78 more games to go. Don’t look too much into this one guys.

  • rob

    Bentley

    “I’m fine with Blair starting or coming off the bench, provided he stays aggressive on the rebounds and gets his patented easy putbacks, and two he plays hard and brings energy.”

    Same boat as far as opinion.

    What I would hate to see is his confidence level deminish from forcing too much and not being himself.

    I’ve seen some good players come on this team and be deminished to a point where they couldn’t play solid anymore on any team. I’ve also seen some former players that didn’t fit in the Spurs system and become Spur killers on another team.

    I’m wondering if there is too much pressure being placed on Blair to play a certain way that is not natural and taking him away from his natural talents/abilities?

    If he can’t get out of his funk…it wouldn’t be the first time a good post player couldn’t play well/co-exist alongside Duncan. Ifthe Spurs want Blair to be something he isn’t or can’t become on this team by mid season they might want to look at getting something for him.

    It doesn’t do any good to both player and team to ride them into something they may never become only to lose out on getting something of value later prior to them playing their way in to ineffectiveness.

    Now I never hope that happens. But it has in the past. Blair is a unique situation in both his ability to play a position that most never could play because of his height and having no acl’s.

    I just hope he will become a solid contributor whether it is in starting or off the bench and that the team and himself can except his natural ability(s) to play in a manner that allows him to be the most effective.

  • Jim Henderson

    christian
    November 4th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    “i love blair, i absolutely love him, but i think his main flaw is that he’s too short.”

    But Tim in Surrey has already expertly addressed this concern in a recent comment on the “….Spurs Front Court is Lopsided” thread:

    Tim in Surrey
    November 3rd, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Read more: http://www.48minutesofhell.com/duncan-splitter-blair-spurs-center#comments#ixzz14MtRkP6T

    “How big is he (Blair)? Let’s examine that. The NBA draft combine provides a couple of different height measurements–with shoes and without. Just as it is in baseball, with the slow gun and the fast gun, people use the bad measurement to criticize and the good one to praise. I’d rather pick one and stick with it. So, Viper160, if you refer to DeJuan Blair as 6’5″ then you should refer to Blake Griffin as 6’8″, Carmelo Anthony as 6’6″, and Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki as 6’10″. (BTW, Yao Ming without shoes? Still 7’5″!) However, the NBA typically uses the higher measurement (with shoes) and rounds up fractions of .5″ or larger, which is why they list Blair as 6’7″, Griffin as 6’10″, Carmelo as 6’8″, and Duncan and Nowitzki as 7’0″. On this board, we tend to use the NBA listing, so can we all agree to refer to DeJuan Blair’s height as 6’7″, rather than 6’5″?

    Additionally, while it is useful to have your head above the crowd, it’s even more useful to have your hands there. That’s why the NBA also measures how high a player can reach with his feet flat on the floor. In Blair’s case, his standing reach is 8’10.5″, which compares favorably with Blake Griffin’s 8’9″. In other words, Blair can reach higher than Griffin unless they have enough time and space to jump from a running start. The NBA also combines standing reach with a player’s maximum vertical leap to see just how high their hands can go, even under those ideal conditions. In Blair’s case the measurement was 11’7.5″, which is only an inch below Griffin’s. That’s fine, but standing reach and wingspan are the best measurements of the barrier you pose as a defender. That’s why players, coaches, and GMs like to talk about “length” rather than “height”. DeJuan Blair has more than enough length to guard the interior in the NBA.”

    Blair has the unique body type and talent to be one of those few players that have succeeded as relatively “short”, but very productive players at the power forward.

    rob
    November 4th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Blair will be fine, and could have a very good future on the Spurs. Blair is the type of guy that wants to improve his game so bad, so fast that it has overwhelmed him at the moment. He’s trying to diversify his offensive game too fast. It has resulted in a nasty funk to start the season. Trust me, he will grow out of this in due time. Good coaching, and teammates sticking with him and showing confidence in him will allow him to emerge more strongly an quickly. TD needs to mentor him like the admiral did with TD. It is a mistake to judge or to be very concerned about the 21 year old Blair after just 4 games. When it comes to Blair, “don’t worry, be happy”.

  • Bentley

    rob

    “I’ve seen some good players come on this team and be deminished to a point where they couldn’t play solid anymore on any team. I’ve also seen some former players that didn’t fit in the Spurs system and become Spur killers on another team.”

    Yeah, the first player that comes to mind is Hedo Turkoglu. We didn’t maximize his abilities and unfortuantely a team like Orlando did.

    I think Blair will be fine, but I do agree with you in the sense that the Spurs coaching staff should try and maximize his talents, but at the same time not try and take away what he’s naturally good at(e.g hustle plays, rebounds,)

  • cruzan gold

    I kind of wanted to see Timmy and Splitter play together more. The one sequence in which both were
    in the game, the Suns’ offense seemed a little flustered– even if didn’t show in the stats. Looking forward to Tiago’s eventual increase in playing time.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Jim

    Regarding Blair, you state:

    “Blair is the type of guy that wants to improve his game so bad, so fast that it has overwhelmed him at the moment. He’s trying to diversify his offensive game too fast. It has resulted in a nasty funk to start the season.”

    And so I suggest a move to the bench for him to sort things out. I’m not saying that he’ll should never start an NBA game ever again, I’m just saying that he should come off the bench a few times and gain some confidence. You’re right, he’s a little overwhelmed, so why not take some pressure off him? If he has a couple 15 board games off the bench, maybe a couple 7 for 10 shooting games, he’ll settle down and then Pop can toss him back in the starting line-up.

    Yes, I’d rather start Dice for a few games. Dice is averaging 6.3 and 7.8 in less minutes than Blair’s 4.3 and 6.5. Soon Splitter will be able to get a few starts too. Depending on the match-ups, I see Dice/Blair/Splitter sharing the starting duties eventually, anyways.

    That’s my rational case.

  • ThatBigGuy

    On a different note, Fabricio Oberto has decided to retire due to heart palpitations.

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/othersport/article_1596721.php/Argentine-star-Oberto-retires-from-basketball

    ‘Tis a sad day. He was a good guy and I enjoyed watching him play.