As you probably know, the Spurs are one of just two teams that have rolled with the same starting line-up in every game this season, the Lakers being the other. That speaks to a few things, first of course is player health, and second is Pop’s uncharacteristic lack of tinkering. The hope has been to build chemistry and reach perfection. Now that the Spurs have their first losing streak of the season, is it time to see if some other set-up might help the Spurs to reach a point close to the elusive perfect game?
I’m not entirely sure.
What I do know is that I want to see more of Tiago Splitter and Dejaun Blair on the court together, and more of both McDyess and Bonner with Timmy. According to 82games.com the most effective five man line up so far this season has been Parker-Ginobili-Jefferson-Duncan-McDyess, followed closely by Parker-Hill-Jefferson-Duncan-Bonner. So might it be time to start Bonner over Blair? Then sub in Blair about 6-8 minutes in and Splitter for Timmy about 8-9 minutes? McDyess would then come in during the 2nd quarter. Now, you are probably wondering why I’d have Bonner in ahead of Dice if Dice is part of the more effective unit. Well, I’m suggesting that because I’d like to see Antonio’s minutes more back-loaded towards crunch time; Dude’s just a stone-cold winner. In the end, I’d like to see Dice playing closer to 18 minutes a game than the 16 he’s currently logging.
I’m of the opinion that if any elective changes are going to happen, that they happen prior to the Rodeo Road Trip. I also believe that they should occur when there aren’t any other changes afoot. With Anderson coming back soon, there will undoubtedly be some change in floor time for different players, Manu, RJ, Neal, and Hill most notably; so the timing of any shake-up that Pop might be contemplating is crucial.
Regardless, If I’m the Pacers I’m not looking forward to Friday night.