Thanks to your participation, we’re down to just four centers in the San Antonio Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge including some major underdogs.
At first, there were 32 centers from San Antonio Spurs history ready to duke it out for the lone spot to represent centers on their side of the Role Player Bracket Challenge. Now, we’re down to only four remaining big men to represent the team as we decide the greatest role player in franchise history.
In case this is your first time checking in on the RPBC, we’re tallying fan votes to fill our a bracket posted to our Twitter account naming the greatest role player in franchise history. We had two underdogs come out on top in the Round of 32 including a shortlived talent in Dewayne Dedmon and a current player in Jakob Poeltl.
Yesterday, we highlighted three areas of focus for Poeltl to improve on as he enters restricted free agency. Needless to say, he’s great at what he does: Protect the rim, swat shots, orchestrate offense from the post, attack the glass on both ends and score near the basket. While he’s not the most versatile of the bunch, he’s a respectable, young player who was sent over from the Toronto Raptors in part of the infamous Kawhi Leonard trade.
Poeltl defeated No. 11 Nazr Mohammed, who won a championship with the team in 2005 after being traded to the Alamo City from the New York Knicks. He went on to share the starting spot with Rasho Nesterovic in the following season and signed with the Detroit Pistons in the following offseason.
Wrapping up the Round of 32 in the #Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge, we’ve got eight amazing centers wh go head-to-head with hopes of reaching the Sweet Sixteen! #GoSpursGo #NBA #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/Pa9BiZpuk5
— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) April 6, 2020
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Dedmon spent just one season with the Spurs in the 2016-17 season and performed extremely well off the bench. He spaced the floor with a solid jumper while remaining an excellent pick-and-roll partner for San Antonio’s guards. He’s a solid rim protector with the strength and IQ to matchup against some great opponents while maintaining the awareness to defer to his teammates when need be. He defeated No. 7 Coby Dietrick, wh spent eight seasons with the silver and black and transitioned from the ABA to the NBA with the organization.
At the top of the bracket, five-year center Tiago Splitter overcame a tough No. 8 seed in Boban Marjanovic and moved on by a margin of more than three-quarters of votes. This was the highest margin of victory in the round with the runner-up being Matt Bonner defeating Pau Gasol by 57.2 percent of votes.
Bonner spent 10 whole seasons in San Antonio, coming off the bench with a quick trigger and a thoughtful demeanor in his approach to the game. Gasol spent the latter years of his career with the Spurs and provided some rim protection that the team greatly appreciated, but he ended up being a complete non-factor when push came to shove.
The bracket will be updated and the Sweet 16 of the Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge kicks off tomorrow! Unlike the previous rounds, we’re going to put out polls for all 16 remaining players from varying positions to decide our Elite Eight!