FanPost

A postposed commentary about the DeJuan Blair situation

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Free your mind...

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[Dear Pounders, I was going offtopic on a long reply to our man Ghost. So I thought to share this commentary here. Feel free to comment, I didn't want to change the original commentary format.]

I don’t remember if I shared my thoughts with you, Ghost (probably did it) but...

I always had the feeling that DeJuan got time in regular season because of his potential at the playoffs. Pop would play him in hope of developing some aspects Blair seemed to lack. While he is a wonderful performer under the basket and an excellent player for the start of the game (probably because of his type of offensive game and his level of awareness/concentration/conciousness [how to put it]), he lacked in the defensive part of the game, particularly the systematic team defense (like all the newbies) that wasn’t there.

After failing in playoffs, he would became a little more carefree which lead to his increase in weight and, in my opinion, to a more impulsive, less thoughtful way of playing (which is achieved by strenghtening his natural intuitive way of playing, the way he plays at starts and what makes him excel under the basket). He would make more turnovers in offense, take more risks at shooting and rebounding, passing less and jump shooting more the ball once he gets it. In some way it’s to be expected from a player accostumed to be asked to finish at the rim once he gets more touches outside the paint, especially if he is not a great passer from the start. Defensively I don’t think we can ask a lot more from what he is giving, he seems to be very limited physicaly and maybe he’s reached his capacity mentally to feel that gap (a la Neal but with a worse pshysical mismatch).

So once Pop got unexpected help from Diaw and DeJuan's play worsened by his riskier offensive play and defensive side didn’t got any better (or at least as much as expected), Pop decided not to play him in order to see if he could overcome his fragile mentality that got hurt once he fell out from the starting lineup in the first time. In some way he seems to be recovered some will, seeing the way he trained in the summer. I think his game isn’t fully recovered, it seems to be improved and has showed some maduration in the last games, with still a good amount of lapses. IMHO, he’ll get better as he gets more playing and as he grows as a person (both could contribute). But I don’t know if this development will allow him for regular playoffs minutes in this team this year. I don’t think Pop lied when he said he expected great seasons for Kawhi and DeJuan. Maybe he still hasn’t dropped the towel.

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