FanPost

Blair is at best a fine role player



here we go...

 

The myth of Blairs value in the starting line up keeps me up at night

 

most stats were just form looking at 82games.com or looking at the team record ect on espn.com

 

blair oct-feb (starts every game 59) 49-10 (83.1%)

blair mar/april (starts 6 games misses one game) 11-11 (50.0)

 

team stats

through blairs starting run (63 game) 2nd Offense at 109.2 and 7th in Defense at 101.

we finish the season with (82 game) 1st Offense at110.26 and 29th in Defense at 109.1.

 

holy crap sending blair to the bench had an apocalyptic effect on the team holyshit pop wtf were you thinking...

 

or maybe something that makes a lot more sense was the cause of the problem...

 

 

1 was blair an important piece of our success when he was starting?

Answer No

He benefited most form being with our best lineup available more then any other player on the team. Was our starting line up effective? Absolutely! When blair was with this lineup they were +10.4 (687min). Wow thats a killer line up we were destroying everyone. Clearly blair was a big piece of our success....

 

hmm I wonder how did other players do with the starting line up?

Bonner (84min) +23.4...hmmm more then double

Dice (229min) +11.9...hmm thats still better then blair

im sure the dreaded small ball must have struggles with manu and richard playing the 3-4

Hill (66min) +13.8 hmmm

Neal (20min) +14.4 hmmm

well did anyone play worse then blair with the starting line up?

Splitter (14min) -20.6 ah ha!

 

oct – feb

on (1307 min) +6.1 off (1525 min) + 8.1 net -2.0

 

if you are scoring at home over the greatest start in franchises history the spurs did better without blair on the floor, even with him getting an advantage by having the most floor time with our best line up that he wasn't as good as everyone else (poor splitter) was with that line up.

 

 

2 well clearly the team got worse because he was sent to the bench for the Mar-April stretch run right?

Answer No

 

A much more obvious problem happened to occur at the same time. In the great start to the season 49-10 the spurs were blessed to have their entire starting lineup for every game. They were the only team to have this and the big 3 (by far our most important players by any reckoning) were healthy the entire time (manu missed one start but played).

 

Starting on march first that ended with the first non start of a big 3 member (tony) and we lost. Even if you think the blair move to the bench could/would/did mess up chemistry I think every one would agree that move not matter the results would not be as important as timmy, manu or tony not playing. The numbers support this

 

mar-apr record overall 12-11

with big 3 in line up blair starting 3-1 (75.0%) margin of victory +8.3per

with big 3 in line up blair coming off the bench 10-4 (71.4%) margin of victory +5per

with big 3 in line up blair missing game 1-0 (100.0%) margin of victory +16per

with at least one of big 3 missing from the line up blair starting 0-2 (0.0) margin of victory -12.5per

with at least one of big 3 missing from line up blair off bench 1-5 (16.7%) margin of victory -2per

 

total blair starting 6 (3-3)

total blair off the bench 16 (8-8)

total without blair 1 (1-0)

 

starting or coming off the bench when the big 3 played is almost a negligible difference and it isn't a difference if you add in the one game blair missed completely we won. The 1-7 mark when at least one of the big 3 was out is what killed us completely and seemed to be the only factor in that rec, not blair.

 

 

3 well wait the team numbers when you benched blair were awesome and they got so much worse by the end of the year there clearly is a link.

 

Hmmm clearly something was dramatically different here...

through blairs starting run (63 game) 2nd Offense at 109.2 and 7th in Defense at 101.

we finish the season with (82 game) 1st Offense at110.26 and 29th in Defense at 109.1.

 

it almost completely seems on the def end

Well I admit that when you reduce a def stalwarts min that the team def might get a little worse.

 

Blair Defense: Pts per 100 Poss on the court 107.5, off the court 105.1, net +2.4.

So the team was 2.4 point per 100 possessions worse with blair and we reduced his min from 22 a game in the first 63 games to 18 his last 19 games...wait a min if we reduce a bad defenders min shouldn't the def get better?

 

My bad I was looking at the wrong def stalwart!

Tim duncan Defense: Pts per 100 Poss on the court 102.9 off the court 110.1 net -7.2

thats better

 

so what happened to timmys min?

Well in the first 63 games he played every one and avg about 28 per game

in the last 23 he missed 6 games entirely and ave27 per game in the 17games he played if you take 28min per game he missed in 6 games and the one less min a game he avg when he did play over the 23 games in march and april thats and avg of about 8min less per game of timmy or a drop of 28% of timmys court time in march and april. As by far our best and most important def that could clearly account for most of this.

 

Lets take a quick look at tony and manu as well

 

manu Defense: Pts per 100 Poss on 104.1 off 109.6 net -5.4

again significantly better team def with manu

manu before march 31min a game...missed 2 games and in 21 games in march and april avg 27.6 net loss of about 5.5 min of manus def over the 23 games

 

tony Defense: Pts per 100 Poss on 105.0 off 108.3 net -3.3

better on then off

tony before march just over 32 min...missed 3 games and in 20 games just under 32min (we will call that a wash) net loss of 4min of tonys def over the 23 games

 

lets take a look again at blair

blair Defense: Pts per 100 Poss on 107.5 off 105.1 net +2.4

worse on then off

blair before march 22min a game...missed one game and in 22 games 18min a game

net loss of just under 5min per game of blairs def over the 23 games...even if blair had a positive overall effect on the def (nothing seems to indicate this at all) his impact over all from missed min would be right between tony and manu and much less then timmy

 

this is absolutely a no briner how/why our def got worse and its the same reason we were 1-7 when one of the big 3 were out and it has nothing to do with blair starting.

 

A few important notes

1 I don't hate blair. And im not saying he is total garbage. I feel he has a role on the team and I feel its a smaller role. I also feel that saying pop benching blair hurt the team isn't what I saw in the games and nothing in the numbers support this.

 

2 pop could have had no idea that the moving blair would mess anything up. I think this shows that it didn't but even if that wasn't the case pop ramped up Dices min last year too and pop of all people knew we needed a better def and would be matching up against a bunch of pf/c we would need dice to defend in the playoffs. If dice gets no playing time maybe he isn't ready or able come playoff time.

 

3 I feel we were over achieving in the first half and were trending down by the time the floor fell out

oct 1-1 point dif +2

nov 14-1 point dif +10

dec 13-2 point dif +7.6

jan 12-3 (80.0) point dif +5.7

feb 9-3 (75.0) point dif +5.8

mar 8-8 point dif +1.1

apr 4-3 point dif +6.9

 

2 things I notice.

One trending down all season long

two in march/april with our big three we were 11-4 (73.3%) point dif +5.7

again regardless of if blair started or came off the bench with the big 3 we have almost the exact same rec in jan/feb as in mar/apr with almost the exact same point differential. It had nothing to do with him starting it had everything to do with our best players and I don't see how its even close.

 

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

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