The Spurs’ wing situation, training camp predictions

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The Wing Situation. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

Earlier this month, R.C. Buford listed upgraded shooting as a primary objective for the Spurs this season. In the same breath, Buford said the Spurs wanted to find a “wing defender.”

Gregg Popovich echoed Buford this week, saying he is on the hunt for someone who will approximate Bruce Bowen’s defensive effort.

Early in camp, Popovich has made it clear to the various candidates for the job — a list that includes eight-year NBA veteran Bobby Simmons, last season’s Development League Rookie of the Year Alonzo Gee and former second-round pick James Gist — that the route to a roster spot begins on the defensive end.

“That’s the No. 1 thing on the wish list for a substitute ‘3,’” Popovich said. “(Offensively), you’d also like for them to at least be able to hit the wall with the ball, too. But (a defender) is what I’d like to have.”

These are two storylines — the quest for a wing defender and improved shooting — to follow throughout the Spurs’ training camp. Here is short primer on each of the Spurs’ perimeter campers. Who has the advantage?

The Spurs will go into camp with Manu Ginobili, George Hill, Richard Jefferson, James Anderson, Alonzo Gee, Gary Neal, Garrett Temple, Bobby Simmons, Thomas Gardner and Kirk Penney at the wings. Many believe the Spurs also see James Gist as a combo forward. The Spurs have nineteen players in camp, eleven of whom could demand wing minutes. Finding Bruce Bowen’s replacement is a seemingly impossible task.

The Spurs’ Current Wings, Minutes

Some of the players listed above (Hill and Temple) are obviously combo guards, but Gregg Popovich likes three guard lineups and, in general, perimeter players who can slide between three positions. In this sense, some of the Spurs’ reserve “small forward” minutes will be given to Hill or, less often, Temple.

It’s reasonable to expect Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and George Hill to command most of the minutes at guard, and that all three players will regularly share the floor together. In fact, I suspect the Spurs will close most games with Parker, Ginobili, Hill, Duncan and Splitter.

Richard Jefferson is a lock for steady minutes at the wing. Jefferson averaged 31 minutes per game last season and should soak up similar time this season. In a perfect world, Jefferson would emerge from Spurs camp as the team’s best wing defender. But no one is holding their breath; it has been years since Jefferson commanded respect as a tough defender.

It’s important to remember that Jefferson moonlighted as a small-ball power forward for much of last season.  It’s impossible to know how the Spurs will allocate his floor time this season, but I’m assuming — based on his poor performance as a combo forward and the Spurs’ current personnel — that those days are over.  If Jefferson plays most of his 30 minutes at small forward, and the Spurs maintain their dalliance with three guard lineups, San Antonio should only have 8-12 minutes of reserve minutes left over for that aforementioned laundry list of wing hopefuls.

Handicapping Spurs Training Camp: The Wing Race

James Anderson is a player who might have been drafted in the teens or late lottery if not for a draft season hamstring injury. The Spurs are also committed to Anderson and his guaranteed contact — or as committed as any NBA team is to a rookie. Unfortunately, James Anderson spent the entire offseason rehabbing his hamstring and is coming to camp out-of-shape. Not his fault, but those are the breaks.

Best Guess: Anderson will need an incredibly good camp (an unusually good one for a rookie) in order to find immediate minutes in the rotation. In fact, the Spurs might be tempted to send James Anderson to Austin as part of an extended rehab program, getting him back into game shape and playing heavy minutes after a few months on the sideline. Anderson’s immediate future, in all likelihood, is somewhere in between those options. Anderson can shoot, play either wing position, and get to the foul line. If he shows a willingness to defend, Popovich will find opportunities to play him. Eventually.

Alzono Gee can get to the foul line. He’s a menace in transition. Of all the Spurs’ wing hopefuls, Gee might have the highest ceiling.  But can he defend? Can he develop a competent jump shot? The two major question marks in Gee’s game are the skills San Antonio desires most from their cast of might-runs.

Best Guess: Gee has too much potential to pass up. But he’s not what the Spurs are looking for at the wing. His game is much more Corey Maggette than Bruce Bowen. Gee makes the team, but spends the year in Austin trying to develop the skills the Spurs want from a player right now.

Bobby Simmons’ game went missing last season — 23 games for the horrendous Nets. As a reserve Simmons is an attractive option: .401 career three point percentage. Durable. Nice size and a good wingspan. At 30, he’s old enough to know his way around pick and roll defense, but maybe too old to represent a long term solution for the Spurs.  But why is Simmons having so much trouble finding a contract? He’s in San Antonio on a make good invitation. Something is missing.

Best Guess: Simmons makes the team, but San Antonio keeps a younger wing in case Simmons is a repeat performance of Ime Udoka and Keith Bogans.

Gary Neal is at Spurs camp on a low dollar, guaranteed deal.  In one sense, he’s already made the team. But Neal is owed a mere 525,000 this season, meaning his contract is easy to swallow. In this sense, Neal has to approach camp as if his roster spot hangs in the balance. Neal is not known as a wing defender, but the Spurs tout Gary Neal as one of the best shooters ever to set foot in their gym. The wind is at his back and he’s running downhill.

Best Guess: Neal keeps his spot. His challenge is to earn minutes. If he can slide his feet and carry a sniper’s rifle all at once, the Spurs will use him as a floor spacing specialist.

Thomas Gardner has bounced around the NBA and Europe. At 25, he’s yet to find a lasting job in professional basketball. His odds of making the team are even less inspiring when one considers his career 3-point percentage of .200.

Best Guess: Unless Gardner is Bruce Bowen come again, he’ll be one of the first two camp invites to hear Popovich’s candid “thanks, but no.”

Kirk Penney is a great shooter, and one might be tempted to think his primary obstacle to making the team is Gary Neal. But there is no reason the Spurs couldn’t keep both players. The Spurs could, in fact, keep Penney, Neal, Simmons and Gee. In all liklihood, the Spurs’ final roster spot will come down to  Penney, point guard Curtis Jerrells, and James Gist. No one is likely to mistake Penney for a lockdown defender, but if he’d be holding trump back, that’s it.

Best Guess: The issue of D-League eligibility will play a big role in the Spurs selection process. If the Spurs can only dress 13, why not put players 14 and 15 in Toros uniforms? In previous seasons, this would seem to favor, say, Gist and Gee (both players are D-League eligible) as the Spurs’ bench-enders.  Not this season. The D-League recently adjusted its rules to allow teams to allocate three camp cuts to their D-League affiliate, if said players are seeking D-League jobs.  So, for example, if James Gist plays well in camp, but not overwhelmingly well, the Spurs could cut him and sign him to the Toros. They can still develop Gist, but don’t have to lose Penney. In this scenario, the Spurs could still lose Gist if he were called up by another team, but at worst, they’d have a few more months to work and evaluate him. I think Penney will make the team.

James Gist is hoping to make the team as a high energy, defensive-minded combo forward. He’s long, athletic, and has shown — albeit inconsistently — some range on his shot. He’s not Robert Horry. He’s not even close to Robert Horry. But he could develop into a Robert Horry-esque role for the Spurs. In time. Maybe.

Best Guess: Gist and and Curtis Jerrells are the last two players to receive their pink slips. Both players join the Austin Toros, along with an allocated Alonzo Gee, and an also-cut Marcus Cousin. If Gist plays well for Austin, the Spurs will find a way to add him to their roster on a guaranteed contract that extends through next summer.

Spurs 2010 Training Camp: Final Roster Predictions

PG: Tony Parker, George Hill, Garrett Temple

SG: Manu Ginobili, James Anderson, Gary Neal

SF: Richard Jefferson, Bobby Simmons, Kirk Penney, Alonzo Gee (assigned to Austin)

PF: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Antonio McDyess

C:  Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter

Austin Toros Starting Lineup: Curtis Jerrells, James Anderson (short term), Alonzo Gee, James Gist, Marcus Cousin

  • Rick Ashford

    Unless Simmons comes out gangbusters and totally exceeds expectations, I’d rather see him let go in favor of the young guys.

    If he can slide in and make an immediate impact, then he’d be useful, but if there’s going to be the traditional one year “Spurs learning curve”, then I’m not so excited. In that case, I’d rather see the roster spot and minutes going to someone we can develop into a consistent contributer down the road.

  • BankShot21

    I’d like to see one of the new guys get 15 minutes a game. The only way this would be possible is if a combo 2/3 made the squad…not a combo 1/2. Anderson can be this player along with Penney. Though Penney is a bit on the old side his stroke is more than welcomed. GO SPURS GO…from NYC!!!

  • rob

    Just how serious was Anderson’s hamstring injury?

    And I agree with the “Final Roster Predictions” as far as personnel. But I believe Hill has a good chance of starting at the 2 with Ginobili off the bench. This may allow (if ready to contribute at a high level) Temple garnishing playing time at PG.

    Simmons is an interesting proposal as b/u SF. His limited playing time with a lowly Nets team is a red flag. I guess the Spurs will find out if it was more of a conflict of playing style or a deminshing ability to perform that created that situation last year. But at only 6’6″…I still have a problem with this team having underheight wing candidates.

    But I’ll take still having a b/u wing problem if Jefferson produces better this year and if the team can get upgraded post play compared to last year. At least that’ll be one less worry to contend with.

    Regarding Simmons. If he can’t become a consistent backup to RJ or finds himself in the same situation as in New Jersey…what do the Spurs do next regarding that role? Out of the viable (and that term is used loosely) players after Simmons…all are too short and have shown little encouragement in terms of defense. Could the Spurs try to become a run and gun team at those intervals of Jefferson not being on the court if a decent “Spur prototypical” wing defending SF isn’t on the court?

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  • WESLEY

    SPURS ALL THE WAY 2011 CHAMP

  • Gilbert Medina

    Nice assessment. But, I disagree on the Penney call. I think we have enough perimeter firepower in Bonner, Hill, Ginobili, Anderson, Neal, Temple, Simmons and probably a more historical percentage from Jefferson who worked on tailoring his game all summer to the spur system which surely would have included tremendous practice with the corner 3. All of the aforementioned shooters wouldn’t be a defensive liability either when on the court, save possibly Neal. I thought that Neal displayed quick feet/lateral movement in summer league play which shows a potential for defensive improvement. There is much greater need for an athletic(35″ vertical), quick, youngster with a great wingspan (7’4″) to attempt to stay in front and defend guys like Nowitzki, Durant, and Odom. I, like Pop, understand that despite the network’s/league’s preference for offensive teams, the game is 50% offense and 50% defense. A guy can be just effective as an offensive player who scores 20 pts if he forces those two guys to take 30 shots and shoot 35% from the floor versus their normal 45%. I think given all the shooters we already have, a more likely scenario is Penney to Austin, if he is eligible, with a later call-up if we need more shooting. Remember, he doesn’t know the system either which apparently takes guys a while to figure out. On the other hand, Gist has been our guy who likely has had and studied our playbook for years while playing in Europe. Aside from Gee and Jerrels who actually have played in our system in Austin, he should be the next most ready to step into the system.

  • rob

    Fianl Roster Predictions with parenthesis indicating possible limited dual role on team on a need be basis.

    PG- Parker, Temple, Hill (Neal)
    SG- Hill, Ginobili, Anderson, (Neal)
    SF- Jefferson, Simmons, Penney, (Anderson)
    PF- Duncan, Blair, McDyess
    C – Splitter, Bonner, (Blair)

    I give Penney over Gee in this situation for the simple fact that Penney is such a lights out shooter. And in terms of looking for a “Bruce Bowen replacement”….if Penney proves to be just as equal a defender as Gee (which isn’t that much of an upgrade as far as overall defense)…his better outside shooting touch awards him that spot.

    As far as the Austin Torros lineup…I’m in agreement with Mr. Varner. Especially regarding Anderson if he’s that much out of shape.

  • DieHardSpur

    @Rob

    You make and interesting point at the end of your post –

    “Could the Spurs try to become a run and gun team at those intervals of Jefferson not being on the court if a decent “Spur prototypical” wing defending SF isn’t on the court?”

    For the last 12 years or so we have built our offense on the pillar that is Tim Duncan. With that said, if we are trying to conserve Timmy’s greatness, wouldnt it be wise to tweak the philosiphy? I am not calling for a complete change in offensive structure, but as we go younger (when Timmy, Manu, and McDyess are not on the floor,) should our game change a little. No longer having Tony run down the court to throw it into the post… It would be interesting to see a young 3 guard line up running balls to the wall with Tiago and Blair… I think we could create Havoc and numerous nightmare match-ups…

    Obviously this would be aginst the oppositions “second team”.

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

    Bonner is NOT a Center.

    List Duncan as a center (finally) or list Dice as a center. Heck, even list Blair as a center.

    But, Matt Bonner is not a center.

  • Greyberger

    @lenneezz

    really what does it matter where you list them… Tim Duncan is a great example he’s such a versatile player that he can play alongside most any big man. He defies categorization on offense too so why even care what position he is.

    The Spurs have five big men, as different as basketball players can be… why get worked up over trying to correctly assign positions when they’re going to get used in a dozen different combinations anyway.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    @greyberger

    We’re on the same page. Basically, all 5 players are FCs. The terms “power forward” and “center” are more or less meaningless. And eventhough FC is more accurate, it’s still too broad to provide a careful description of their games.

  • cay

    uh, Austin Toros Tickets please!

  • Jim Henderson

    I addressed this issue from a previous post/thread. For those of you that missed it here it is:

    “At this point, it appears to me that there’s going to be a battle waged in camp for the last three spots on the “active Spur” roster. I would suggest that the following seven are the “real” contestants:

    Anderson, Neal, Penney, Gee, Simmons, Gist, & Temple

    That’s a pretty competitive field for just three spots. Anderson has an edge because he’s a first round draft pick with a guaranteed contract. You’d also have to give Neal a slight edge because he has a guaranteed contract. And Temple also has an edge because of his stint with us last season, and the fact that Pop appears to really like him. Plus he’s a versatile combo guard. That said, we could use a back-up SF that can shoot with range and play some “D”, and I would give the edge to a veteran in this case.

    So I’ll go ahead and make a GUESS on how all this shakes out.

    Anderson, Temple & Simmons make the active roster, and Neal is the 13th guy on the bench that could be activated for some games by switching with another player (e.g., Temple), or in the case where another player gets put on injured reserve.

    With this guess at a final roster, the following would be my starting and second units:

    Parker
    Ginobli
    RJ
    Duncan
    McDyess

    Hill
    Anderson
    Simmons
    Blair
    Splitter

    Reserves: Bonner, Temple, Neal”

    Now, I’d like to just highlight a couple of areas of disagreement with Tim’s main post for this thread.

    “In fact, I suspect the Spurs will close most games with Parker, Ginobili, Hill, Duncan and Splitter.”

    I don’t agree, and I hope this is not the case. I’m not a big fan of “small” line-ups. For example, Hill is not our overall best defender at the SG (Manu is), and Manu is not our overall best defender at the SF (RJ better be!).

    “If Jefferson plays most of his 30 minutes at small forward, and the Spurs maintain their dalliance with three guard lineups, San Antonio should only have 8-12 minutes of reserve minutes left over for that aforementioned laundry list of wing hopefuls.”

    I don’t like 3-guard line-ups. I hope we don’t see much of it. Therefore, I’d like to use a true back-up SF that can make a solid contribution if given 14-18 mpg. I hoping for the Simmons of 2008-09 to reemerge. And with the opportunity to play for Pop and a winning franchise, I think that’s a realistic possibility.

    “In fact, the Spurs might be tempted to send James Anderson to Austin as part of an extended rehab program, getting him back into game shape and playing heavy minutes after a few months on the sideline.”

    That is a valid possibility, but if I had to guess, it won’t happen. At 21-22 years old it really doesn’t take too long to get into “game” shape, especially when his early role would be limited to 6-10 mpg. anyway, if at all. I see Anderson on the start of the season active roster. Too much talent to set foot in Austin.

    “Kirk Penney is a great shooter, and one might be tempted to think his primary obstacle to making the team is Gary Neal. But there is no reason the Spurs couldn’t keep both players. The Spurs could, in fact, keep Penney, Neal, Simmons and Gee. In all liklihood, the Spurs’ final roster spot will come down to Penney, point guard Curtis Jerrells, and James Gist.”

    If you’re talking about “active Spurs roster”, I don’t see how we keep both Neal & Penney. We’d have overload at the SG spot, since in my view neither of them can effectively play at an NBA SF position. In fact, out of Manu, Hill, Temple, Anderson, Neal, & Penney, NONE of these guys can adequately handle the average to above average in terms of talent/size NBA SF (with the possible exception of Manu, but only on occasion — hey, he’s 33 and injury prone! — let’s not push it). And that leaves too many combo 1/2 & SG’s on the active roster. In the final analysis, I go with Neal (but I would not be opposed to Penney, with Neal in Austin). I’d be happy to get a longer look at Penney in Austin if we can get him there.

    Finally, I have a question for Tim: You project Anderson to start off in Austin getting in better shape. Whose place will he take on the 13-player Spurs bench when he returns?

  • Hollywood Jones

    I always thought of Bonner as a small balls power forward.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    @JimHenderson

    The Anderson prediction is a long shot. But I’d guess Penney or Temple.

  • Badger

    Great post!! As cay suggested, I am seriously considering getting Austin Toros season tickets. Anyone want to go in on them with me? There will be some pretty stout talent on that team this year, and it is very possible that as many as 3 or 4 guys will be going back and forth between a Spurs jersey and a Toros jersey.

  • SEANB

    I like the players you say make the team because I think we be deep with experience and talent especially shooters, if there any injuries.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    I just tweeted this, but the Spurs just sent out a press release: they have already waived Thomas Gardner.

    @varner48moh

    The clock is ticking on Marcus Cousin. But I think they’ll hold onto him for awhile as part of their overall Toros pitch.

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    “Therefore, I’d like to use a true back-up SF that can make a solid contribution if given 14-18 mpg. I hoping for the Simmons of 2008-09 to reemerge. And with the opportunity to play for Pop and a winning franchise, I think that’s a realistic possibility.”

    Jim, I really don’t know what to expect from Simmons. He didn’t play at all last year which leads me to believe one of two things: 1) He’s totally washed up as an NBA player or 2) The Nets knew last season was a lost cause and just decided to play the youngsters for the sake of experience.

    I think the second point is the most realistic, but again, I’m not sure. If he can return to his form of a few years ago, he could be a real nice backup SF and a real under-the-radar steal. He’s essentially the same age as RJ so one would think he has PLENTY left in the tank especially after playing in on 23 games last season. Overall, I think this team has real nice depth at almost every position. I’d like to get 1 more 7 foot shot blocker, but I don’t think the lack of another 7-footer is catastrophic.

    Here’s a link to some of Simmons highlights. He looks like he has a real nice stroke from distance. Hopefully he can bring that to the team. Hollinger’s scouting report says he is really good at the corner 3’s and is a physical defender. However, he lacks quickness and hops. We’ll see what he can do for us.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhZTmks0TYA

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

    Oh, I’m not “worked up” over a players position.

    I guess it is just a pet peeve of mine. And yes, it was correctly noted that the Spurs system doesn’t rely on traditional Pf and C. Basically, it becomes that way when you have the GPFOAT.

  • Jim Henderson

    “Jim, I really don’t know what to expect from Simmons. He didn’t play at all last year which leads me to believe one of two things: 1) He’s totally washed up as an NBA player or 2) The Nets knew last season was a lost cause and just decided to play the youngsters for the sake of experience.”

    Yeah, it’s more likely option number two. That said, Simmons gaining a regular rotation spot is far from guaranteed. It’s just a hope of mine that he’s got something left in the tank both physically and mentally at the age of 30. He’s not at the level anymore where he was a good fit on NJ last year (a team that needs to develop young horses, not past prime role players), but as a niche player on the Spurs it could be a different story. He’s the only one on our camp roster minus RJ that has true SF size at 6’7″ (long wing span), and about 215 lbs. (about 10 pds. less than RJ), and with the veteran experience that could pay off in a playoff role. Let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one.

    P.S. You gotta love his spot-up corner three!

  • Lt. Dan Hennessey

    Kirk Penny should make this squad. He is an International Prolific 3 Point Shooter. The World Champs highlight reel was just the tip of the iceberg ! He is only 29, Now he can harden up on his defence as he won’t be worried about fouling out. Just a thought. But I have been watching him throw daggers around the world at all commers throughout the years ! Plus he is a Role Model of a Basketball Player. Also if Penny makes the squad, you got to make room for the country of New Zealand ! Think of the BBall shirt sales !! Good solid piece of the SA puzzle !

  • Jim Henderson

    Lt. Dan Hennessey
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    “Kirk Penny should make this squad.”

    I assume you’re referring to the “active Spurs roster?” If so, who are your 12?

    “He is only 29…..”

    Actually, he’s 30.

  • Lt. Dan Hennessey

    He’s 29 years old.

    Who nare your 12 ????????

  • Jim Henderson

    Lt. Dan Hennessey
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Okay, you’re right, he turns 30 in less than two months.

    My 12???????

    My starting and second units:

    Parker
    Ginobli
    RJ
    Duncan
    McDyess

    Hill
    Anderson
    Simmons
    Blair
    Splitter

    Reserves: Bonner, Temple, Neal (13th man – can be activated before a game if we inactivate one of our other bench players).

    I would open to Penney in place of Neal

  • Shawn_b

    Kirk Penney at SF?

  • joshmbp

    i agree with hollywood jones. bonner is a small ball pf lol.

  • Pop-a-vich

    2011 NBA CHAMPIONS ROSTER:

    Starters:

    PG – Parker
    SG – Hill
    SF – Jeffferson
    PF – Duncan
    C – McDyess

    Bench:

    Ginobili
    Splitter
    Blair
    Bonner
    Anderson
    Neal
    Temple
    Gee

  • http://48minutesofhell.com/2010/09/02/death-of-tradition anonymous

    It’s prudent wait until get some feedback from their soon performances.

  • ambivalence

    Am I the only one that find Bobby Simmons reminiscent of our experiment with Big Dog Glenn Robinson? Coming in late (but not broke-down old) in his career; we know he can score; and hoping that he can put enough of attention on defense to stick.

    How do you think Simmons will do compared to Big Dog?

  • Hobson13

    ambivalence
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:01 am

    It’s difficult for me to say what kind of player Simmons is and what he has left in the tank. He played in only about 1/4 of the Nets games last season. If I had to guess, I would say he has more gas in the tank and fresher legs than Big Dog had when he joined the Spurs late in the season for the playoff run. Robinson, while in his prime much better than Simmons, was 32 years old compared to Simmons just turning 30 this summer. While Simmons has never produced on the same level as the Dog, he is younger and should be completely fresh after essentially taking most of last year off. If Simmons can nail the 3 at a high percentage and play decent defense, he could be a very valuable/cheap asset coming off the bench.

  • Hobson13

    ambivalence
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:01 am

    “How do you think Simmons will do compared to Big Dog?”

    I missed this part of your question. I think Simmons, if he can return to form, can be much more valuable than Big Dog. Robinson simply latched onto the Spurs in a last ditch effort to get a ring. He only played in 22 games for the Spurs including 13 in the playoffs. Simmons, if healthy, can average 15-18 min/game throughout the entire season and be a legit backup to RJ thus allowing Pop to play Jefferson more sparingly. Simmons could not be a starter for a championship or even playoff caliber team, but as a backup I believe he could be quite effective.

    *Disclaimer*: Everything I said is contingent upon him returning to his form of several seasons ago. If, in training camp, he proves he is finished in the NBA, then all bets are off.

  • Bushka

    I’ve Seen Kirk Penney play live. I have a hard time seeing the prediction of him making the team at the three spot.

    He is listed at a generous 6’5 (I am 6’5 and I could buy 6’4 for him), the best comparison for spurs fans looking for a similar style of player would be a shorter version of Andrew Gaze who once had a cup of coffee for the Spurs and made FIBA defences weep for 20 years.

    Amazingly talented scorer of the basketball, lights out shooter, but could not stay in front of an NBA small forward.

    The guy is an invincible three point machine, can just hit from absolutely anywhere and carries a massive scoring load constantly at FIBA & NBL level (Australia/New Zealand) but he is an NBA two. Steve Kerr with handles and not afraid to carry some load.

    Brett Brown would have the absolute low down on Penney with his Australian connections.

  • Easy b

    Re: small forward minutes.
    Forget temple, Penney, Anderson and Neal for any minutes- not the way we want to go. I think if simmons shows enough, he gets the nod, with ginobili and bonner making up situational minutes. Yes, bonner for scoring situations only. Hill, at best is only capable at guarding big 2’s for spot minutes, he is more likely to get defensive minutes this year chasing the oposing 1. Potentially Anderson could be an energy guy at the two- it’s up to him. Penney and Neal are on his heels for that spot if he falls short. Gee won’t make it- athlete only does not make a spur. Gist is insurance only, and the rest are “training camp” competition. Blair is going to eat alot of minutes this year, meaning spot perimeter minutes which I think a few posters have already pointed out. I( as an Aussie ), know Penney’s game and would make sure he is signed for the season- can flat out shoot….will be valuable at some stage during the season for sure.

  • Jim Henderson

    Bushka
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Easy b
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Good posts. What I want to know is who do we have on the opening day active roster at the 1 & 2 positions (even including a 13th undressed guy)? Personally, I can’t justify seven. In my view, nobody in camp that’s probably going to make the active roster should spend much time if any at the SF spot other than RJ & Simmons. So how many guards are going to make it, and who are they?

  • http://yahoo.com jamrock alan

    Alot of you might disagree with me but these are my thoughts. Parker, Ginobili, ‘King’ Duncan, RJ, McDyess, Blair, hill, Bonner( waste of spurs resources) and Splitter are all guarantee to be on the roster. this leaves 4 roster spots open. i hate hill spending too much time as a backup SG, so I’d limit his minutes there an play him almost exclusively as a PG. maybe 18 at PG and six at SG. teams need 3 point guards and my third would be Temple( i like his defensive mindset and his shooting can be worked on. bare in mind that since 1999 all the NBA championship teams has been in the elite group of defensive teams in the league.) at backup SG the spurs dont need another Bogans. what we need is someone that can carry the scoring for a few minutes if the guys go cold and Penney/Neal addresses this. I’m leaning towards Penney because of international pedigree and what he did against the best of the d-league. no team carries five lookdown defenders on there second unit and this guy can find space for himself. If Hill can get him open looks against opposing second units that’s going to be a nightmare to deal with. Splitter is carrying a small tweek and we dont have an athletic bigman to play alongside Duncan. the prospect of having a defensive 6-9″ combo forward is mouthwatering. remember Gist can score so dont dog the youngman. if Jerebko can be an asset and he shoots, block and rebounds better than Jerebko He is keeps for me. He also adds some more size to the Spurs. imagine having a frontcourt all over 6-9, in King Duncan, Tiago and Gist. all could defend the big perimeter shooters that can also play the post. i would have a very hard time sending Anderson to the Toros however Simmons would get the nod for his shooting and size. he is also an insurance in case Gist cant find the Basket. Goooooooooooooooooooooooo spurs. KING TIM DUNCAN JAMAICA LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!!!