Video: DeJuan Blair’s adjustments on Pau Gasol


There was a curious moment in the second quarter of the San Antonio Spurs 100-81 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday when DeJuan Blair was pulled from the game for all of about 30 seconds to talk to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Coach Pop sat Blair down, gave him instructions and sent him back in the game. In the following video, we’ll take a close look at what was going on.

  • metalandganja

    nice andrew! i swore it was an arnovitz video at first =)

  • Andrew A. McNeill


    Thanks. It’s not Arnovitz, but I totally jocked his style for this first one.

  • Abhishek D.V.

    Nice work as always, Andrew. Would have preferred the video without the backing vocals, but with a lip reader. :)

    Then again, scratch that. Imagine the disappointment of your readers if Pops and Blair were discussing politics instead of defensive schemes. :)

  • Gene

    Good stuff! Please keep these coming.

  • muwu

    And people want to fire Pop. Crazy

  • Daniel

    Interesting thing… watch this highlight reel of Karl Malone’s 61 and compare it to DeJuan Blair’s style of play. Malone mostly played below the rim because he was a widebody who weighed a fckton– he was basically a two-inch taller Blair with a jumpshot and A+ free throw shooting for a big man.

    THIS is the type of player Blair could be if he decided to get a midrange game and if he worked on his handle for a driving move. Easier said than done, right? Blair already rebounds at least as well as Malone and sets screens and cuts on the pick/roll as well as Malone ever did. Blair also has very advanced footwork and is deceptively quick. Both players are more adept at getting steals than blocking shots, and neither gamble much on defense. The two inches is indeed a big deal (it will be the difference between Blair and the HOF if he really grows into his potential), but at the same time, Blair has albatross arms and should be able to use his physical tools on defense better after a couple seasons of playing against Duncan/Ginobili/Parker in practice. Looking at Per 36 minute stats, Blair’s rookie season is better than both Dwight Howard’s rookie and sophomore seasons and he’s also been better than David Lee was up through last season. His Per 36 numbers are better than both Barkley (he plays nothing like Barkley, but numbers are pretty!), and Malone’s rookie seasons. We truly have DaBeast on our hands here.

    It’s unlikely he’ll become as good a scorer as Barkley or Malone were, but it’s not that farfetched Blair will become as good a player as either. According to the efficiency metric WS/40 (position adjusted win score is more useful comparing guards/big men), Blair is the best college player in the last decade. And the three players in that tier lead the rest by a hyooge margin (one of those is Blake Griffin and the other is Jon Brockman, the best offensive rebounder in the NBA by a country mile– Blair is 3rd, (barely behind Greg Oden’s monster 1/4 season) in part because there are a lot fewer misses to clean up in San Antonio than in Sacramento.).

  • AP

    So does this revise the thinking that we only have three serviceable big men (Duncan, McDyess, Bonner) to compete against the Lakers’ frontline?
    Do we have a chance in a series against the Lakers where DeJuan plays series minutes?

  • The Wes Reviews

    Felt like I was watching a Grassy Knoll documentary. lol, great video

  • Alger Hiss

    How much of that second denial was due to Bogans good denial D? Also, how much of the P&R letdown was due to Bogans bad P&R D?

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    @Alger Hiss

    Right on on both counts. My high school coach always used to say that the best post defense was pressuring the passer. And while Bogans defense on that pick-and-roll wasn’t very good, I think if the help D was paying attention they could have discouraged a pass or at least bothered Gasol.

  • Tanjavur

    Thanks for a nicely done video!!

  • Jim Henderson

    April 7th, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Nice work. I’m also VERY high on Blair’s potential, and that’s why I’ve said on this blog numerous times that he is one of three players on the team that are simply “untradeable” (along with Hill & Duncan).

    I would say that the most apt comparison for Blair’s high ceiling would be in the Carlos Boozer category (Boozer’s only about 6’8″). Obviously, at age 20, Blair’s still a ways off, but if he can get to Boozer’s level in the next 3-4 years, that’s not bad at all!

  • yogi

    Thanks – a nice, very clear and understandable piece of work!

    I liked the background vocals but you did not mention who is doing them?

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