Is Matt Bonner having a good season or a great season?

On the surface of it, this should be a career year for the Red Rocket.  The Spurs are fiffy-five and thirteen on the strength of a three-point offense, and nobody shoots the three-ball like Matt Bonner.  Team success, a crazy 3pt percentage, and those Coach B videos - what's not to like?  Just like Evita, however, there need to be some stanzas about his Rainbow Tour being a qualified success. 

Among Spurs who get a significant amount of minutes Bonner is last in Usage Rate, which measures how many shots, free throws and turnovers come from each player on a per-possession basis.  He attempts the same number of field goals per 36 minutes as Tiago Splitter or Antonio McDyess, but gets to the line very rarely. 

The three-point barrage is impressive - he makes nearly three per 36 minutes (most on the team) and shoots 'em at 50%.  You don't get to heights like that without being very selective on your shots, and his low turnover rate shows that when he does pass up the three he can make smart decisions with the ball.

It still seems a shame not to make the most out of our most efficient option.  Manu and Gary Neal attempt 6.6 threes per 36 minutes to Bonner's 5.5 attempts - Manu takes threes off the dribble and behind screens, but Neal gets his attempts high by getting out in transition and making himself open and available.  If Bonner could attempt an additional one or two three pointers a game without his percentage dropping much it would amount to free points. 

Here on PTR I've seen a lot of people point out his improvements when it comes to team defense.  This is something that's hard to get to with statistics but is extremely important in the playoffs.  Improved or not I don't think he's in McDyess's class of defenders.  There are always going to be trade-offs when you give minutes to a 'specialist' like Bonner in the post-season so it's a matter of getting the most out of the positive things Coach B brings to the team.

I'll leave you with this tidbit table of how many field goals Matt Bonner attempts per 36 minutes this season:


Month FGA
October 7.71
November 10.82
December 7.28
January 9.87
February 8.38
March 9.88
Average 8.99

This is fan-created content on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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