Spurs Bench Report Card - 3/15/13

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The one point victory over rival Dallas Mavericks marks the end of a turbulent week for the San Antonio Spurs which featured a historic loss at home and a major playoff seeding victory that was immediately marred by a road blowout the next evening. This week's Bench Report looks at how the Spurs role players contributed on the roller coaster of a week.

Welcome back, Spurs fans. Today's report is a bit of a wild. Since last Friday, the Spurs have taken on the Portland Trailblazers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Dallas Mavericks. Two of those games were an embarrassment to the game of basketball, one a major victory in the race for the top seed in the West, and the last one a delicious triumph over a long hated rival.

Just a reminder - grading is divided into the three categories of offense, defense and hustle. These three elements makes up the overall score. The scores handed out are also relative to the player's role/position on the team, which is why the following scores are broken into three groups.

  • Offense is scored on direct/indirect production, efficiency, clutch shots, and game management.
  • Defense is scored on how the player handles their assignment, team defense, defensive rebounds, and of course their production on steals and blocks.
  • Hustle is based on the player's activity/energy on both ends, play on 50/50 balls, rebounding overall (including boxing out), and causing turnovers.

And here we go.

The 6th Man

The big gun off the bench. Ginobili is not likely to depart this category.. in either direction.

Manu Ginobili

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Manu D+ C- B C-






Sadly, Manu is back to struggling again. Over the last four games, Manu has shot 14 of 45 from the floor, 3 of 16 from deep, managed only 17 assists as the primary offense facilitator, and turned it over 12 times. A good portion of his passes out of the paint appear to be later than normal and he isn't getting through traffic with any ease. Manu's usage in the offense has gone up since Tony Parker's injury but his offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) over the last week has been sub-par at 80. At least his free throw percentage is getting back to normal (11 of 14).

Manu's defense in the first three games was absolutely horrendous, averaging 123.3 points allowed per 100 possessions. Those numbers put him on the bottom of the team's list of "capable defenders."

At least we can take comfort in knowing that this man will not give up on himself or his team. Ginobili is visibly frustrated by his performance both on and off the court.



The Regular Rotation

The regular rotation features the primary role players in the Spurs offense and roughly 13-20 minutes per game in some type of consistency.

Gary Neal

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Neal
B- C- C C






I give Gary a bit of wiggle room in his score because the man is battling through so much physically and, I'm assuming, mentally. Neal scored in double digits last night against Dallas for the first time in over a month but it took a 6 of 13 performance to do so. However, if it wasn't for Neal's contribution off the bench, the Spurs would have lost their third game since last Friday. Gary also did a nice job finding the open man against Oklahoma (6 assists) and has only turned the ball over twice in nearly 62 minutes of play.

Neal has continued to struggle on defense but it isn't for a lack of trying. Neal is out-sized and typically out-classed in the two spot and is far too slow to keep up with any half-decent NBA point guards.

Boris Diaw

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Diaw B C D+ C






It's been a long time since Boris Diaw offered any real threat from deep. Diaw hit only 1 of his 6 attempts in the four game stretch. That one three-pointer was against the Thunder, his best performance since the last game of the Rodeo Road Trip. Diaw scored 11 points onf 4-5 FG and recorded 3 assists in 18 minutes. Diaw always manages around 3 to 4 assists per game so it's no surprise that he ended up with 11 over the four games.

Diaw's defense remains sub-standard for big men (which he really isn't one) and is of little threat when it comes to the rebounding battle. Boris only managed to grab 3.8% of the available rebounds while he was on the court (true rebounding percentage). About everyone on the team does a better job rebounding than Diaw does.

Stephen Jackson

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Jax C D A C+






Captain Jack's overall shooting continues to be a struggle but his three-point percentage (44.4% over the four games) finally took a turn for the better. Stephen is shooting the deep ball at an abysmal 27.6% clip this season so anything higher than the 40-mark should be showered with love and Cristal.

Jack struggled closing out on the perimeter, especially against Portland (who didn't?), and was ineffective on any help defense inside. Jackson continued to a good job on the defensive boards and was very vocal with several of his younger teammates.

DeJuan Blair

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Blair D+ D C- D






The only time we got to see extended minutes for DeJuan Blair over the last week was during the two blowout losses to Portland and Minnesota. In the total 35 minutes of court time, Blair scored 6 points, pulled down 8 rebounds, earned 5 fouls, and turned it over 4 times. Blair was embarrassed on the glass against a pitiful Minnesota team.

It's been known for awhile but it's even more obvious that Blair no longer fits on this team.

Matt Bonner

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Bonner C+ D- C C-






Matt Bonner only played in the two losses for roughly a third of the available floor time. Bon-Bon hit 4 of his 7 attempts while only attempting one shot from deep. This is the bizarro stat-line of a typical Matt Bonner night.

Similar to Blair, Bonner was a non-factor on the glass but that's because the team's in both games he played in just couldn't miss a shot. So we roll over to the defense... Ah! 131 points allowed per 100 possessions. Moving on.

Cory Joseph

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Joseph A- B- B- B






I'm sold on Cory Joseph. As a starter in the four games, CoJo averaged roughly 21 minutes, 9 points on 63.6% shooting, 2.3 assists, 1.3 turnovers, 2 rebounds, and 1.3 fouls. I'll gladly take that steady line of production from a third string guard. Joseph also went 7 of 8 from the free throw line.

Like every other Spurs, Cory struggled on defense but not nearly as much as others. Joseph had a great start against eventual rookie of the year Damian Lillard but was eventually caught under in the Portland death march. Cory also had to deal with Russel Westbrook (who went 11-27) and Ricky Rubio (who used God mode that day).

Note: I give Joseph a bump in the grading because of what has been asked of him since being called up from the Austin Toros.



The Victory Cigars

These are the guys we demand to see more off because they rarely get to play and whose talent generally gets subjected to meme treatment and/or overblown to mythical proportions.

Patty Mills

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Mills C F B C-






Patty Mills has been steadily pulling minutes from De Colo for quite some time but Mills is more of a temporary fix than a long term plan for the playoffs. Patty didn't play in last night's game against Dallas and only sniffed the floor in the final 27 seconds against Oklahoma City.

Mills hit all three of his shots in 18 minutes of play against Portland and added 2 assists. Patty also got extended minutes (24) against Minnesota, scoring 8 points on 2-7 shooting and recording 6 assists. - Some mediocre contribution that was swallowed up by Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio both going super nova on poor Patty.

Nando De Colo

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Decolo C+ D- B C






Since last night's game was neither a blowout win or blowout loss, De Colo did not play. This is what Nando's role in the rotation has been reduced to. Nando managed to get 20 minutes of floor time in the Minnesota debacle, producing 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and no turnovers. Nando only managed a total of 4 minutes and 29 seconds in the previous two games.

His defense over the last few weeks has been abysmal, highlighted by the final 4 minutes against Portland. Nando failed to stop Eric Maynor, who went 3 for 3 for 7 points and assisted on 7 more points.

Aron Baynes

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Baynes Inc Inc Inc Inc






Aron Baynes only recorded 9 minutes and 45 seconds of game this week and that was only at the end of the Minnesota blowout. The entire team's head was stuck up somewhere dark and unpleasant so I'm not willing to give Baynes a score. He did have a nice block but he was also the center piece of embarrassment, courtesy of Ricky Rubio (double behind the back play).

Follow Aaron on Twitter at @DukeOfBexar for more Spurs news, notes, quotes, and opinions.

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