Be sure to check out the first three parts to the series.
The Best Boris Diaw passes of the playoffs.
For a guy who seems completely down to earth, and possessing a fun, self-deprecating sense of humor, Matt Bonner has quite a few nicknames. I think it's as many as any other Spur. Matty B, The Red Mamba, The Red Rocket, or my favorite, the self-proclaimed and too little used - The Medium Fundamental.
The Spurs re-signed the longest tenured Spur outside of the Big Three and I for one am happy that the orange haired, 3-point specialist is getting the opportunity to help the team go for back-to-back titles.
While most of his shots come from beyond the arc, Matt has developed a decent dribble drive to give him another option when his highly accurate, but slow to load, shooting stroke from deep is threatened by an aggressive close-out. Matt's defense is also underrated. True to his self-given nickname, The Medium Fundamental plays the game in a sound, smart and controlled manner. He's been seen frustrating Dwight Howard, doing a great job making life tough on the young Anthony Davis, and a little further down you'll see him force Serge Ibaka into a very tough shot.
Here's Matty's best seven plays of the year.
It's not the prettiest of post-ups, but Matty gets the best of Shawn Marion with a spin into a righty-hook.
When Matt finds the ball in his hands on a turnover he does his best Tim Duncan impression with a fundamentally sound 3/4 court outlet: two-hand chest pass, and conservative but adequate placement. Two points.
This is good defense from The Red Mamba as he shows hard on the Westbrook/Ibaka pick-and-roll, giving Kawhi time to get back and force Westbrook to pass. Eventually Ibaka has to attack Bonner, but Matty plays him well, not giving him any space and forcing him to take a tough shot.
Matt vs. Rubio. First Bonner starts to back down Rubio from 22 feet and then spins and drives with his left to get just outside of the restricted circle to get a floater to go. I'm not going to lie. The best part of this is just the idea that Matt in an iso situation not only scored, but embarrassed his defender. The head in hands says it all.
How about Splitter getting set up off of a Matt Bonner dribble drive? That's just solid, fundamental basketball and Splitter goes with his reverse to keep Birdman and LeBron away from the shot with this pretty finish.
This Matt Bonner dribble-drive out of transition happened in the WCF, and importance of the game matters. First he fakes and gets around Caron Butler, avoids the swipe from Nick Collison, and then finishes with a layup against Steven Adams. Nice work.
How much fun is this play? The Tony Parker/Matt Bonner two-man game versus the T-Pups.