April 26, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15) reacts after a pass was thrown behind him against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter at ORACLE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
ESPN has officially embarked on their quest to rank the top 500 NBA players for the upcoming season. As each Spur is listed, I will provide a synopsis and a brief take on why they deserve (or don’t) this ranking.
Matt Bonner averaged a minuscule 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 31.3% from the field in the playoffs and received a lot of backlash for his poor performance — which has become a theme in the playoffs. Comparatively, he averaged 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in the regular season.
Bonner’s stock dropped a bit but he still cracked the top 200, slotting in at 198.
His shooting efficiency wasn’t quite as high as it was in previous seasons, but he still rated as the fifth most efficient player in the NBA on a per possession basis. He maintained his productivity, despite a slight drop in shooting percentage, because he turned the ball over on a league low 3.8% of his possessions. Bonner hasn’t struggled with turnovers by virtue of his reliance on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers but his ability to prevent turnovers remains impressive.
My take. Bonner dropped 19 spots since last year’s NBA Rank but rating as a top 200 player — which essentially means he is good enough to fill out any seven man rotation — isn’t bad for a player that is widely criticized among Spurs fans. It is a fair assessment for a player that is pretty much one-dimensional but excels in that one dimension. (A relevant aside: It should be noted that Bonner graded as an elite post defender, allowing a mere 31.8% shooting, according to MySynergySports.)