When you think of the San Antonio Spurs, the first players that come to mind are usually Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili. Rarely is reserve forward Matt Bonner ever thought of, but the 6’10” red-head with the awkward but accurate set shot from three is an important part of what the Spurs do, even if he doesn’t get much credit for it.
Bonner averaged a career-low 4.2 points points in just 13.4 minutes per game this season for San Antonio, but somehow managed to still have an impact on games in his limited playing time. Even though he didn’t score much on the season, Bonner still shot the basketball extremely well from long range, connecting on .442 of his three-point attempts.
A prime example of Bonner’s value could be seen in the Spurs’ game one against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bonner was in the game only 17 minutes, but he knocked down four of six from long range for twelve points and a +22 in the box score. The Spurs went on to a 105-83 victory.
Bonner doesn’t contribute much to the game besides outside shooting, but if overlooked he has the ability to bury an opponent from three-point territory quickly. He may not be much of a defender or rebounder, but Bonner knows his role and plays it well when called upon.
The Spurs for years have been known as a great team that somehow finds a way to stay under the radar, with Bonner being a prime example of that persona. Underestimating Bonner could be critical, as teams are continuing to discover even after nine seasons in the NBA.