The Size Issue
As we are all acutely aware, our boys are going to face some size match-up problems in the upcoming months. Our record has exemplified that scrappiness (e.g. vs Lakers in December where we seemingly miraculously managed to out rebound and out score in the paint) and numerous long range threats can overcome these problems (Bonner, Neal, Manu, Hill, RJ, Novak, and even TP and Quinn can nail em, and Andersen were he ever to play again). Nonetheless, as playoff intensity draws near, rest assured that our opponents are going to utilize these match-up problems to the full advantage. Even with Tim healthy, our aging all-star simply isn't enough alone to anchor the entirety of our post game.
Our other big men? Although the observations came early on about Tiago's conditioning, as he gotten more play in recent games, it has become abundantly clear that this is a very real problem. He makes the right moves but it looks like the lack of strength prevents him from pushing past opponents for the dunks and his rebounding, while solid, looks weak in the sense that he doesn't clutch and protect the ball. A stronger post player can easily steal these rebounds.
Blair. Of course he's undersized but his power and strength compensates MOST of the time. Certainly, there is nothing he can do to improve his height. But what I do notice is how often Blair misses the easy lay-up or dunk and it looks like he is throwing the ball up just to get his own offensive rebounds. He needs to get his timing right and work on the finesse of his inside shot. He has such great hands that I don't think its much of a stretch for him to improve his offensive game.
Timidity and Penetration
Hill and RJ have looked timid over the last month. While Hill has come through at important times, he has seemed content with passing up his shots and not penetrating the ball. I realize Hill is not TP or Manu but it seems that outside of these two players, there is nobody else on the team who can penetrate defense and drive. RJ periodically tries but it seems that usually the best case scenario is that he misses the shot and draws a foul.
TP and Manu might be enough alone but it seems evident that when Hill is running the ball that we just pass along the 3 pnt line and don't seem to get it inside. And without Timmeh in the post, there doesn't seem to be much confidence in throwing the ball into the post.
Bonner has been shooting despite his slump last couple games but historically Bonner gets choked when he loses his stroke. And if he can't hit his threes, there frankly isn't much reason to have him in there despite his monstrous +/- mystique.I'm not sure if we just keep running plays through despite the FAIL and hope he gets his confidence back or if we just let one of our shooters pick up the slack. Bonner has been very un-clutch in playoffs in the past.