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04 April 2005

Oh, I've Got Reservations About So Many Things

...but not about you.

That Wilco lyric goes out to Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, the newest member of the Spurs. The Spurs waived Dion Glover to make room on the roster.

When I initially read the news my first reaction was surprise followed shortly thereafter by bewilderment. Look at Glenn's career numbers:

32 years old
6'-7" 225
20.82 PPG
8.15 FGM
17.74 FGA
1.17 PPS
45.9 FG%
34.0 3p%
81.9 FT%
6.1 RPG
2.8 APG
3.15 TOPG

How often does a career 21 PPG player get picked up off of waivers with 10 games to go in the season? He started the season injured with Philadelphia and was traded to New Orleans at the deadline. They promptly waived him. I figured no one picked him up due to injury-- or maybe he went on the Oliver Miller cheeseburger diet and gained 30 pounds. But for some unknown reason he was still available.

Some Spurs fans may be worried that a player of his stature will mess up team chemistry and not mesh well into the system. That he'll screw up the defense and complain when if he doesn't get his shots. Those are the possible negative outcomes of this acquisition. None of my three friends would ever call me an optimist, but I think this was a good signing by Buford and company.

The way I see it, if Glenn doesn't play adequate defense he'll sit the bench a la Steve Smith. If he causes problems he'll get cut. I trust that Popovich won't let this be a distraction. Hell, if he could tell Karl Malone, to his face, that he wouldn't guarantee him playing time then Pop can certainly tell Glenn to ride the pine and shut his pie hole. And I'm sure the Spurs made it clear to Glenn what they expect of him.

This also seems like a great situation for Glenn. He can provide some offensive spark off the bench and prove he's still got some game left. He can also play the good soldier and try to shake his reputation of not being a team player. Oh, and he gets a good shot at a ring, too.

The main reason I like this pick up is that the Spurs definitely need some help on offense. Without Duncan they are reduced to having Parker and Ginobili penetrate and kick. It's obvious that The Sickness is quickly running out of gas. He's 15-48 in his last four games and he seems to have lost some of his explosive abilities-- he's not finishing as well at the basket and not blowing by people as regularly. Glenn can definitely save him some energy on the offensive end. Robinson is no longer the offensive player he used to be, but he's an option. You can play him on the post. He can face up from 15-20 feet and he's a decent three-point shooter. He can create his own shot. The Sickness can do a lot of these things too, and so can Parker, but it does us no good to run these guys ragged before the playoffs. Let Glenn play 17-22 minutes and put up 12-15 shots. Barry can slide over to the two and Manu can get some extra time on the bench.

I think the worst that can happen is that Glenn struggles and the Spurs lose home court against Miami. To be honest, I think this is a foregone conclusion anyway. Miami is currently ahead by a half game and have a decent schedule the rest of the way (split home and away). Their toughest game is probably Detroit at home. The Spurs, on the other hand, have 6 of their remaining 9 games on the road, including at Dallas, Memphis and Minnesota. And Duncan and Brown are out for at least four more games.

And, heck, maybe Glenn still has something. Maybe he shoots 50% from off the bench and averages 12-15 PPG. Maybe he helps the Spurs pull out some games while Duncan is hurt. The most important thing is that the Spurs start the playoffs healthy and rested, and The Big Dog can help the Spurs do that. Anything else is gravy.

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.