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Spurs' bench is devastating…

By Daniel Strickland on March 20, 2006.

* Brent Barry – since the very-near trade, just past the league deadline, Brent has started coming strong with bigger game. Nothing like being sent to obscurity off a championship squad to get motivated. His shooting % and minutes are up pretty noticably over the month. He’s the best Barry still playing in TX at least.
* Michael Finley – also spelling Manu, buying valuable rest for his fellow All-Star guard, Mike’s shooting is up pretty dramatically also. He’s hitting .455 in the last 10 games. He’s ready to fight for the title, make no mistake. This is crucial – the Spurs need depth and hungry all-stars to stay focussed on The Ring of Power.
* BIG SHOT Bob Horry – evidently he’s healthy, judging from his skyrocketing shooting % also. He couldn’t come back healthy and strong at a better time than now, especially with the injured elbow of…
* Nick the Quick VanExel – prior to the elbow really tightening up on him, he was good from beyond the arc about 45% of the time. Luckily he’s especially getting rested because of…
*Beno Udrih – shooting 52% in March, getting over 20 minutes a game, and most importantly helping the Spurs win while Dallas keeps the pressure up as VanE and Manu get time on the bech. Beno doesn’t need to play in the 4th quarter of Game 7’s in the playoffs to make his bench impact for the Spurs. Beno is very, very important while the main shooters get rehab’bed for the playoffs. Thank you Beno… you are crucial in this Dynasty.
* Rasho – also more efficient, especially now coming off the bench. Rasho was HUGE in Houston, battling and bodying a much taller and more talented Yao Ming all night. The night after Nazr went off on the Suns but was probably exhausted, along with Tim. Rasho, like Beno, was crucial in defeating the Rockettes, and played very aggressively when we needed him. Big props. He helped win that game, big time.
* The Killer Kiwi, the Lord of the Ring from Middle-Earth itself (New Zealand), Sean Marks – did you realize he’s hit 63% of his shots in San Antonio? With 3 or more days of rest he hits over 75% of his shots. He hit 8 of 9 against the Craptors (who couldn’t honestly, but still). Not bad for a 6’10” guy. He’s gotten some really key minutes where he’s come through for us. He’s hit 9 of his last 11 shots.

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  1. Bramlet Abercrombie March 21, 2006

    Great analysis overall, Jake, but I disagree on a couple of points.

    Sean Marks has not hit 63% of his shots in San Antonio. If you combine his field goal AND free throw percentages, then maybe. Not that I don’t love Sean – you’re preaching to the Kiwi choir there.

    As for Barry, his problem has never been motivation; it’s been his neurotic concern about fitting in and not disrupting the offense. The near-trade made him say “Fuck it. I’m just gonna go out there and PLAY.” I’m glad to see him finally realize that he helps this team more when he’s aggressive than when he’s deferential. Even though he may shoot too quickly on occasion, overall he shoots a much higher percentage when he feels free to gun it, and he breaks down the defense so well with both penetration and passing. This guy has a lot of game left. He doesn’t show his age on the court at all, especially since he doesn’t have to log major minutes for the Spurs.

    The people who have criticized Finley this season are way off base. His defense has come a long way, and the guy has hit SO MANY clutch shots for us. With his recent high shooting percentage, he’s been devastating. He’s another supposedly over-the-hill veteran who’s looking really young right now. Did you see that dunk over Yao?!

  2. Dingo March 22, 2006

    I’ve been especially impressed with Beno Udrih’s play of late.

    “Since veteran guard Nick Van Exel has been on the Spurs’ sideline for the past nine games with an injured left elbow, Udrih has averaged 10.4 points per game on 39-of-70 shooting.”

    The Spurs are 19-2 (90%!) in games when Beno has played 10 minutes or more.


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