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18 April 2005

Let's Get On With It

The Western Conference playoff seedings are now official. Here are the first round matchups with the team listed first having home court:

PHX vs. MEM
SA vs. DEN
SEA vs. SACTO
DAL vs. HOU

PHX has home court through out the playoffs, which start Saturday.

Recently Coach Popovich alluded that Beno Udrih might not make the playoff roster. The day after the regular season closes NBA teams are required to select 12 players to for their playoff roster. They are not allowed to add players during the playoffs for any reason. The Spurs have the following players to choose from:

Tony Parker
Manu Ginobili
Bruce Bowen
Tim Duncan
Rasho Nesterovic

Beno Udrih
Mike Wilks
Brent Barry
Devin Brown
Glenn Robinson
Linton Johnson III
Robert Horry
Tony Massenburg
Sean Marks
Nazr Mohammed

Both of the Spurs starting big men are nursing ankle injuries, leading Pop and his staff to consider adding another big to the playoff roster. In theory that's not a bad idea. But, as with many theories, once you try applying it to real life it blows up in your face. And the detonator for that explosion is Sean Marks.

You figure that Barry, Horry, Mohammed, and Massenburg are locks for the playoff roster. That leaves three spots for Udrih, Wilks, Brown, Robinson, LJ III and Marks. Marks is the only guy that qualifies as a "big man" in that group.

The problem here is that Sean Marks sucks. People like to say he's a good shooter, but I haven't seen it. The numbers cannot find his good shooting, either: 33% FG% from the field, 25% EFG% on jump shots. For the sake of comparison I would like to submit to the court of public opinion the fact that Rasho has a 34.4% EFG% on jump shots. The last time I checked no one is calling Raaaaaaaaasho a good shooter. Marks isn't a good rebounder, either. He grabs 9.3 per 40 minutes. That's just above Massenburg and a full rebound below Nestie (as The Wife likes to call him).

Marks is good at two things: running the floor and hustling. But those two qualities don't translate to much on the scoreboard. He's not quick enough to guard Amare, Nowitzki or Punkie. He's not strong enough to have a prayer against Yao or Shaq. So why the hell put him on the roster? If something happens to warrant needing Marks for significant playing time we are fucked anyway. It's like having nuclear bomb insurance.

Personally, I just think Pop is trying to motivate Beno. You don't leave a guy with a 40.5 3P% off your playoff roster. Especially when he's a point guard. Teams will think twice about doubling/collapsing on Duncan if you put Beno, Ginobili, Bowen and Horry out there with him. The lowest 3P% among them is Ginobili with 37.7%.

Some of you may be thinking "Barry can play point." Yeah, I thought he could, too. But if he can, why hasn't he? Pop tried him there for a couple of games right after the All Star Game but it certainly didn't last long. Beno certainly isn't a plus defender, but Barry's got no shot staying in front of a PG. The only other option is Mike Wilks. Yeah, he's cute and all, but let's be serious here.

Glenn Robinson should make it on the roster, too. He shot 9-11 tonight for 23 points. That puts him at 44% for the season. He's getting his shots within the offense and doing his best of defense; definitely acclimating faster than Nazr did. He's also average a FT every 7.7 minutes, which is better than Tony Parker. Hell, if Big Dog doesn't make the roster then what exactly would he have had to do? Average 15 a night on 52% shooting? Grow wings? Cure Pop's bad hair cut?

That leaves one spot. LJ III has been legitimately hurt most of the season and only played about 10 minutes. He's out. Wilks and Marks are out. That leaves Devin Brown. The way I see it, if there's anyway he's healthy by the WCF you should put him on the roster. We might need him against PHX, and our other options aren't very palatable.

So, here's my selections:

Parker
The Sickness
Bowen
Duncan
Nestie
Udrih
Barry
Brown
Glenn Robinson
Horry
Massenburg
Mohammed

Let's do this thing.

San Antonio Spurs Blog is not affiliated with the Spurs organization or any major publication.
All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.