The San Antonio Spurs are rolling into All-Star weekend with ease having only 12 losses on the season and looking as comfortable and together per usual. They are redefining their consistent ways and folks continue to wrongly underestimate what kind of damage they are capable of doing on any given night. They continue to play what seems to be a 25 man rotation while berating any form of an opponents scouting report making them nearly impossible to game plan against. They have size, speed, finesse, leadership and holes of any size are hard to find. But in no way does their current success entail that their work as a franchise is done, they need to get value and take some money off the books to keep their winning traditions alive for years to come.
DeJuan Blair has slowly become the “odd man out” of a lethally deep Spurs rotation. While averaging less than 15 minutes per game and a nickels worth of points and boards alike, the Spurs should maintain their reputation as a smart franchise in making sound decisions for the long term and getting some value for Blair now. Any contender would most likely drool over even a portion of what Blair can bring and likely give up valuable draft picks. His dependability and overall basketball shape are the only questions surrounding a youngster who has hit a few bumps along the road, but also racked up some meaningful, big-time minutes to build a pretty impressive resume in under five years in the league.
Blair is losing out on minutes due to more stable contributors that are simply fitting better in the particular system. Matt Bonner continues to show his usual consistency and still remains a viable threat in the clutch with his steady shot making abilities. Tiago Splitter has emerged in a huge way showing more pleasant surprises then ever expected out of the 28-year-old Brazilian big man. The way Splitter is playing is certainly worthy of a “Most Improved Player” consideration. He has taken loads of pressure of an aging Tim Duncan and teamed up with the future Hall-of-Famer to establish a very dominant yet overlooked front-line.
Blair remains an excellent option for contenders and middle of the pack teams alike. He brings toughness, size and some decent experience and leadership for his still young age. His body cooperating with him remains a question and his individual defense has never been spectacular but he does provide some presence on the offensive glass and is rather smooth with moves in the post considering he is an under-sized big man. There just doesn’t seem to be the right spot for him in the Spurs rotation and he seems like a guy that would benefit from a shorter rotation with more minutes to get him into a proper basketball rhythm. He’s certainly no lost cause, and the Spurs could get some nice value for him…not that they need any.