Spurs Bench Report - 4/12/13

USA TODAY Sports

Since last Friday, the Spurs have gone 1-1, winning ugly against the shorthanded Hawks and losing at Denver. The bench was not only missing Manu Ginobili this week; they were without Stephen Jackson for one game and have lost Boris Diaw for an estimate of two weeks. Let' take a look at thow they performed in these challenging times.

Note: I'm taking over the bench report for this week. Aaron will be back next week. For now, you are stuck with me. J. Gomez (Edg5)

Reminder - grading is divided into the three categories of offense, defense and hustle. Three elements make 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.

The 6th Man

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

Manu Ginobili

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Manu N/A N/A N/A N/A





Manu is still out with his hamstring injury. Stephen Jackson guaranteed he'd suit up in the playoffs but Manu doesn't seem as optimistic. During his absence we at least confirmed that the bench's struggles were not all Manu's fault. Let's just hope he can heal and provide that playmaking and scoring off the bench the team desperately needs.

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.

Boris Diaw

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Diaw N/A N/A N/A N/A





Just when it seemed the Spurs' bad luck with injuries couldn't get any worse, Diaw had to leave the Hawks game early due to back spasms, which will keep him out for 2-3 weeks. On his short stint against the Hawks he had pulled down two boards and dished out three assists but was part of a bench lineup that was -4. There really is not much to judge Boris by considering he's not supposed to make an impact in limited minutes like other bench players, so he won't be getting a grade this time. Let's hope he recovers soon.

Stephen Jackson

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Jax C C+ B C+






Stephen Jackson didn't travel to Denver because of an ankle injury but he did give the team solid minutes against the Hawks. In 18:51 minutes off the bench Jackson did a little bit of everything, contributing nine points, two rebounds and assist and a steal. To be fair, though, he had his best stint in the second quarter playing next to God Mode Tim Duncan.

His shot is still off from beyond the arc and that is hindering his offense significantly, as teams just play off him. Maybe having him as the ball handler on some sets would help, as he showed he still has skills on a beautiful find to Diaw on the pick and roll.

On defense Jackson is not really shining but he's doing his job by fighting under the boards and containing his man. I think Jack is mostly saving his energy for the playoffs but he has been showing signs of life lately.

DeJuan Blair

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Blair B+ C+ B B






DeJuan Blair was great this past week, at least statistically. He scored eleven points against the Hawks and twelve against the Nuggets and he was active on the boards as well, pulling down seven and five rebounds, respectively. With Diaw down, Blair got playing time and made the most of it, especially in the Hawks game when he had a stretch in which he had his way with the depleted Atlanta front line.

Against the Nuggets Blair did his job but had trouble keeping the bigger, more athletic Denver players off the glass and his tendency to confuse reaching in for defending got the best of him a couple of times. He also struggled when paired with Bonner but that's hardly his fault. We can't really ask Blair to protect the rim and guard perimeter players, like he was forced to do against the Nuggets on occasion and he's not the type of guy that makes the team better necessarily, but he had a couple of very solid individual games when the team really needed them.

Matt Bonner

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Bonner D C B C






Matt Bonner set a career high in blocks in a single game this week against the Hawks with four rejections. Then he did what he could playing next to Blair against a better front line in pretty much all aspects against the Nuggets, managing to pull down six boards in only 14:42 minutes.

It's clear that Bonner tries hard when he is on the court and is not as bad of a defender and rebounder as his biggest critics make him out to be. But that doesn't matter if he can't hit shots. Matty went 0-5 over the last couple of games and while he plays smart defense, it's his offense the team needs. He will never be a game-changer as a defender because he simply doesn't have the tools for it. As a floor-spacing big, there are few out there that can do what Bonner does when he is hitting. But he hasn't been hitting, so he gets a C.

Gary Neal

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Neal
C D C C-






Gary Neal was pretty terrible against the Hawks. His limited playing time (slightly over 13 minutes) showed it, as Nando De Colo and Cory Joseph got the bulk of guard minutes. Against the Nuggets, Neal was able to turn things around by scoring 17 second half points after a slow start. We all know how Gary can shoot you into (or out of) a game and against the Nuggets he was key in the push the team made before ultimately falling. That type of instant offense can be useful in the playoffs.

As for his defense, Neal keeps struggling on that end and will probably never be more than passable. Over these couple of games he wasn't good but he wasn't too bad for the team to overcome, which I guess it's the biggest compliment I can give Gary on that end. As a final note, I'm pretty sure Neal misses Ginobili more than most.

Nando De Colo

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Decolo C B- B B-






As a scorer De Colo is having all sorts of trouble right now. His shot comes and goes, he doesn't get to the line and he is still trying to figure out how to finish over the longer, more athletic NBA defenders. If we go by average, over the last two games Nando has scored four points on five shots. Yikes.

What he can do is dish out assists. After having three dimes to go with his three turnovers against the Hawks, De Colo had four assists and no TOs against the Nuggets. He's also doing a great job of contributing on the boards, getting seven against the Hawks and three against the Nuggets. De Colo just keeps doing things that help the team even when his scoring is lacking.

Nando's defense has not been stellar but it has been surprisingly adequate as of late, even if he was outplayed by Andre Miller. But even Parker struggles with the shifty Miller, so Nando gets a pass from me.

Cory Joseph

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Joseph C- B A- B-






After spending a week in the "Victory Cigar" category, Cory Joseph is back in the "Regular Rotation," at least until Parker comes back.

Just like De Colo, Joseph is not there yet as a scorer. He's been more confident about taking shots lately but he's just not hitting or getting to the line consistently. His new-found aggression, though, is welcomed. After a terrible first half in which he went 0-5 against Atlanta, he turned it around with eight points and two assists in the second half. He may lack the creativity of De Colo but he makes up for it with hustle and can also definitely provide a steadying presence as a floor general even when his shot isn't falling.

Joseph doesn't get gaudy stats but he usually makes his mark on the game through smart, physical D. Against the Nuggets he held his own against the bigger Miller and he was active off the ball, as well. Cory got a lot of minutes with Parker and Ginobili out and showed that, while he's far from a difference-maker at this point, he can definitely give the team solid if unspectacular minutes as a backup PG.

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 D D B D+






Patty Mills didn't get minutes against the Hawks but, with Stephen Jackson out, he got over 20 minutes against the Nuggets. In typical Patty Mills fashion he wasn't gun shy, taking five three pointers and seven field goals, overall. Unfortunately, his shot was way off, even when he was wide open. Patty's tendency to keep firing no matter what reminds me of Stephen Jackson's and it can be as big an asset when, you know, his shot falls but when it misses, it really hurts the team.

This was probably Patty Mills' last chance to make a case for himself as an option for the playoffs but he was outplayed by De Colo and Joseph.

Aron Baynes

Offense

Defense

Hustle

Overall

Baynes N/A N/A N/A N/A






Just like Mills, Baynes didn't get minutes against the Hawks. Against the Nuggets he came in late in the fourth when things were decided. On his short stint he showed the same flashes of rebounding prowess he has showed in the past but it's too small a sample size to judge him on. At this point, I doubt we'll see Baynes in the playoffs at all but I'm looking forward to see what he can do in Summer League.

You can follow me on Twitter @JejeGomez_PtR. If you want to insult Aaron for letting me defile his bench report, you can find him @DukeOfBexar

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