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Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 10:00 am  |  82 responses

DeJuan Blair Says Spurs Would’ve Won NBA Finals if He Played More


New Dallas Mavericks forward DeJuan Blair wasted little time before taking shots at his former employers — Blair thinks if he got on the court, the San Antonio Spurs would be celebrating an NBA title right now. Per the Dallas Morning News (via Project Spurs): “When asked about getting back to the NBA Finals, Blair told NBA.com, ‘Of course I want to get back. I don’t think we’ve [Spurs] would have came up short if I would’ve played but, hey, keep that out there.’ Blair only played four minutes in Game 4 and six minutes in Game 5 of the Finals—both blowouts. This is not the first time Blair has complained about playing time, though, something Coach Rick Carlisle surely won’t tolerate. Carlisle has been known to play stars for limited minutes. In 2010, when asked about pulling Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, and Jason Terry—all significantly better players than Blair—off the bench, Carlisle responded, ‘I don’t care if guys are happy or unhappy about their minutes,” he said. “When you’re talking about winning at the highest level, individual needs for minutes and touches, if that stuff comes into the equation, then you got guys who aren’t about the right things. We address those issues if they come up, obviously. Anybody who presents themselves with that kind of selfishness isn’t deserving of being in a Mavericks’ uniform. This isn’t going to be about role definition. It’s going to be about role acceptance.’ Blair and the Mavs make their first visit to San Antonio on January 8.”

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  • danpowers

    not so sure if they wouldve won the finals, but it wouldve definitely helped them.

  • playa

    Well Splitter was awful so maybe there’s some truth to it.

  • north

    They definitely could have used his rebounding prowess and ability to actually hit shots in the post. Splitter is a bigger body and clogged the lane on drives more. No idea why Pop has shied away from using Blair after his outstanding rookie season.

  • BugEyes

    If he played I think he would of came down with one of the two missed rebounds in game 6

  • Busta213

    Blair used to look like he could be a Reggie Evans type rebounder – I wonder if he can get back to that.

    Pop always seemed to go away from him as the games got more important even when he did seem to have some valuable production.

    Im going to assume the Mavs were good when Carlisle said that. Blair should get opportunities to get some run on the current squad

  • underdog

    Well Blair is a good player, but Pop is a better coach, so I rather trust his decision making.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOL
    .
    Dejuan Blair freaking sucks. But sure, you play more, the teams defense takes significant STRIDES backwards…..and win a title they only lost because Ray Allen is a magician.
    .
    What’a douche

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    how do you figure? they were one jumper from winning the finals. putting in a terrible defensive player doesn’t sound like a way to improve against a team like Miami.

  • R32

    Says DeJuan Blair: Mr. Inconsistent

  • pposse

    I’m happy someone, anyone questioned a decision made by Popovich. No one here or anywhere wants to make a fuss about how Duncan was subbed out during the crucial Heat possessions in the final minute of game 6 and then subbing out your star PG with a minute left in game 7. Some of the biggest coaching blunders of all time just gets thrown under the rug like it never happened, and it just so happened to be from the best coach in the L? There is no pass when you jag at the highest level, especially from your ‘superstar’ coach. Those mistakes by Popovich were the two biggest blemishes on his professional NBA coaching resume.

    And then ofcourse there is this not playing Blair in the finals. Although this doesn’t rank nearly as high as the other mistakes made by Pop … according to Blair it was a mistake nonetheless.

  • pposse

    Or Duncan could have grabbed them…o wait he was subbed out of the game.

  • Mariano

    Except he’s not calling out any of those mistakes you just mentioned… He’s actually calling Pop out for something that wasn’t even a mistake. DeJuan is horrible

  • pposse

    like i said I’m just happy he questioned a decision by Pop..too much of this “its Pop and he’s the greatest coach so I’m not going to question his intelligence” bureaucracy going around

  • Mariano

    Exactly. He’s one of those rare players that instead of improving just keeps on regressing. With his lack of ACL’s he’s been losing athleticism every season and what’s worse is that he hasn’t even developed a jumper in the past 4 years. Horrible

  • shockexchange

    Co-sign PPosse. According to SLAM commenters, Pop is the greatest coach in history and Mike Brown is turrbble, simply because they say so. Pop deserves blame for that choke job in Game 6 and for subbing out Timmy. For the record, the Spurs won those chips, not due to great coaching, but because they tanked to get Duncan in the first place.

  • BugEyes

    Shyt I forgot about that lol great point. tim Duncan is one of the greatest rebounder I’ve ever seen his timing and where abouts are amazing and the way he boxes out is impeccable

  • danpowers

    whatever the numbers say: he is capable of helping his team a bit more than diaw (at his age and condition) on defense and is all about hustle. slightly cutting diaw’s minutes and playing blair instead wouldve helped them on the boards and defensively. i didnt say “play him 20 or 30 minutes” but throwing out a bruiser who bullies around the heat players in the paint for a couple of minutes wouldnt have hurt. especially while lebron james is playing the 4 that couldve very well helped to drain some more energy off james.

  • pposse

    Right. And how ‘Mike Brown sucks at coaching’ even start when Mike Brown was once an assistant for the one and only Popovich?! Sounds like a double standard.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i’m a big blair fan, but i don’t see how he would have been better than diaw. boris gave them some extremely effective minutes in some of those game. he was the lebron stopper for about 48 hours.

  • danpowers

    i think so because of what i wrote above. i hope he proves me right this season.

  • MUBWAR

    yes a slightly overweight PF with limited athleticism was going to make a difference in the Finals

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    are you on crack?
    .
    So you want Dejuan Blair, on the floor for spot minutes….matching up with LeBron James? You realize Diaw did a decent job guarding LeBron right?
    .
    There is a reason Dejuan Blair was the second most detrimental player in any spurs lineup (Cory Joseph being most…..backing up Tony Parker will do that to you) with a net rating of -1.4
    .
    Boris Diaw on the other hand carried a net rating of +4.9, he carried a better offensive, and defensive rating than Blair.
    .
    Diaw is better than Blair at everything but rebounding and scoring in the paint…..which Duncan covers. Duncan is the guy who was sitting when he shouldn’t have been…..not Dejuan freaking Blair.

  • pposse

    Also remember when Avery Johnson called that timeout in the Finals when the Mavs played the Heat? Him and Josh Howard got roasted by the media for that big time. Pop should have received the same type of treatment.

  • shockexchange

    Clearly a double-standard. “Pop gives the greatest interviews”, “You hear that comment Pop made?”, “You see that face Pop made during the post-game press conference?” The media ____rides this guy ’til the wheels fall off.

  • danpowers

    “are you on crack? ”
    yup.

    that missed hook shot by duncan against battier implied that duncan was playing a little too much as the minutes took its toll on him. it couldnt have hurt the team that much to trust the little bruiser and give him at least a handfull of minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it was a lay-up. he just missed it. it had nothing to do with fatigue. lmao.

  • danpowers
  • RKJ92

    Dan you know I love your input on this site, and I tend to agree with you a lot, but there is no way with Blair on the floor the Spurs would have done better. If you think he can match up with LeBron better then Diaw (who was wrecking the Heat in the finals btw AND can also effectively play the 3/4 positions with prestine passing ability, AND range for a big man) that is a ludacris thought, small ball teams like the Heat were specifically made to exploit slower/poor defenders such as Blair. With Diaw on the floor in limited minutes over Blair, Pop definitely made the right call.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • danpowers

    i dont wanna take tht away from diaw n i just said that it wouldve helped to give blair at least some minutes to literally hurt n bang james a bit.

  • danpowers

    now im honestly confused. how comes that his individual stats look better than diaw’s but his net rating is worse?

  • FMOT: @Str8finessin_

    I don’t really agree but all I know is if Popovich would of kept his starters in the game in the 4th quarter of game 6 the Spurs would be champions

  • FMOT: @Str8finessin_

    Why was Tim Duncan out the game when Ray Allen hit that 3?

  • danpowers

    then call it a layup – to me it looked like a mini hook. doesnt matter – normally he makes that shot with his eyes closed and battier didnt really challenge the shot in a way that forced duncan to change his shot. looked pretty much like fatigue to me

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    his stats are only better if you adjust for 36 minutes….but Blair was not playing significant minutes, so i don’t really trust a 14MPG stat stretched over twice as many minutes.
    .
    the difference in rating between both websites, i am researching right now.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, and he ran down the court, got as low as he had been all post season for the next defensive possession.
    .
    it CLEARLY was not fatigue related.

  • danpowers

    thanks, id rlly like to know that.

  • danpowers

    what you just wrote seems to me like a perfect explanation for tired legs of an old big deep in the finals.
    as duncan only said he “missed a bunny there” and not why we might never find out and are only able to guess why that happened.

  • spit hot fiyah

    me too

  • danpowers

    i just went back to watch that ray allen 3pointer in game 6 when duncan sat on the bench. that could only happen because the heat grabbed the offensive rebound of james’ missed trey. what is blair really good at? rebounding! there you get the answer to your question above lol

  • 23

    If you watched ESPNs coverage, after the finals, you would have seen plenty of analysts being critical of pop. It was all over the place.

  • 23

    You can be great and still make mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

  • pposse

    Not for long or as harsh as many many other coaches in the L would have to deal with…and that press conference after game 6 Pop never mentioned that he made a mistake. I didn’t watch ESPN’s post game coverage but not enough articles were written about it that I could find online. I mean that’s a story in itself dont you think? Just thinking of what a Spurs victory would have done to everyone’s legacy is crazy. Duncan cements his as the greatest winner in his generation, Lebron oh boy what would have been said about him? Spo would have been on the hot seat, D Wade and Bosh are now liabilities etc.

    That decision by Pop was probably the greatest blunder in all sports history (when looking at what was at stake, and what the implied stakes were).
    We all appreciate when the superstars step up and take blame for losses, why is it not the same for Pop? When my 12 yr old cousin is texting me asking why Duncan wasn’t in the game there’s a problem.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he just missed it……there doesn’t have to be a big explanation to everything. You know that. It’s basketball, sometimes you miss easy lay-ups for no other reason than that you missed.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ok, so, Basketball-Reference is an “estimation of possessions” while NBA.com is a “calculation of possessions”
    .
    pretty much, NBA.com’s stats are exactly right.
    .
    which explains why all the bloggers tell me to use the NBA stats page over Basketball-Reference’s…

  • danpowers

    but thats tim duncan were talking about. i refuse to believe that he is able to “just miss” a decisive shot at the rim just like that lol

  • danpowers

    okidoki. but may i ask where you found that info?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    read the description of both stats from each website. connected the dots.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s like saying, “i refuse to believe he is Human”

  • danpowers

    “i refuse to believe he is human”! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    much better…lol

  • danpowers

    aaahhhh, makes sense. i just had to look tht up in my dictionary as “estimated” also means “calculated” in translation but i just saw it also means “guess” or “assumption”. this comment section here is so damn informative lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, semantics are a b*tch

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I agree he just missed. I mean the guy jumped right back up to try and tip it right after the miss. Most guys with extreme fatigue in their legs can’t do that.

  • Cortez Mack

    Uncle Rico said they would have won state if coach would have put him in too.

    Uncle Rico > Dejuan Blair

  • FMOT: @Str8finessin_

    that’s a mistake that cost them a championship

  • underdog

    Dude did you watch the game? Timmy is old, his tank was sadly empty. He had a great game, but he scored only 5 points in the entire second half, as I recall. Plus, Ray still would’ve made that shot, no matter who was boxing out in the paint.

  • The Seed

    Blair is right, I was questioning why Pop kept going with Splitter, when he was missing rebounds, getting dunk on and not challenging shots. Blair would have been the difference, if he got the minutes. No one on the Heat could keep him from getting low on the block. Pop lost the championship for the Spurs, but is getting a pass.

  • Evan Boland

    Decent Job?

  • Slick Ric

    I always liked his game, every time I seen him he was finishing well around the basket and getting boards. I cant say he sucks.

  • Evan Boland

    He is. Anybody can. Sad. But true. Still gives me nightmares lol. Not as many as Game 6, though. Spurs were the better team.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yup, decent….. thanks for playing.

  • Evan Boland

    I’ll tell ya man.. Because it was ‘Bron he was shutting down you couldn’t even type anything more than decent, could you? Not even good, or above average?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he did really good against him in game 5…..really bad against him in other games……
    .
    he did a decent job.

  • danpowers

    the spurs played the more intelligent basketball and did many things right but the better team actually wins a best of seven series and that were the heat. sometimes its individual talent that makes a team better than the other and in this case it was lebron james letting talent succeed over smart play. and yeah, as you said, sad but true.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    don’t try

  • pposse

    that was the biggest coaching blunder in sports history. Name me one worse than that..and even if you name one, then name me another one…its up there as the single most stupidest decision made by a coach for sure.

  • pposse

    did you see how Chris Bosh jumped over three players? Do you really think Duncan wouldn’t have been the better guy to secure a defensive rebound vs. Boris Diaw being the option? And besides all that, Duncan was still relied upon on offense and was subbed in offense for defense in that last minute.

  • danpowers

    but… but its not about politics so i thought it could work…

  • straight cake

    Who would have guarded those 3 point shooters that Miami was going to send out after trailing in that game.Duncan can not and could not have guarded anybody on the perimeter so there would still be a chance of a player getting a 3 pointer made. Pop made the right decision to replace Duncan with a better defender to stop the shooting of Miami but Ray Allen still made the shot anyways, plus the ball bounced of the rim so far out that I doubt Duncan would have gotten that defensive rebound also. The fact of the matter is that if San Antonio made those free throw shots earlier we would not be having this discussion.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s LeBron related. The dude said he only jumps into LeBron discussions because he thinks people are too positive about him. Not like the whole, yeah but we are usually rationally positive, thing matters

  • Evan Boland

    lmao.. The better team actually wins a best of seven series? Gtfo man. Grow up.

  • danpowers

    how could people be not too positive about the best player of our time as long as its basketball related? doesnt make any sense.

    the douche he seems to be as a person – or as media makes him look like – draws that much hate that i leaves one wondering if there has ever been more disgust and disrespect directed at any athlete being the best of his craft. sometimes it appears as if o.j. simpson still has more fans than lebron lol

  • danpowers

    i dont know why i still expect you to have more than vacuum between your ears man

  • FMOT: @Str8finessin_

    If Duncan was in the game he would of got the rebound and Ray Allen wouldn’t of even had a chance to shoot that 3

  • pposse

    No. There is no better defender than Tim Duncan on the Spurs period. So long as Bosh is out there who btw had a whopping 0 points the whole game, Duncan should have been out there. Part of defense is securing a rebound hence the term ‘defensive rebound’ thats how you close out possessions. The only reason Bosh got the rebound cause 0 Spur defenders boxed him out (look at the replay if need be), add that to the fact he outjumped all of them…those mistakes would have NEVER happened with Duncan in the game. Duncan would have put a body on Bosh, Bosh would have never snatched that rebound with two hands. This was the SECOND offensive rebound they got within a 25 second window. Yes the Spurs missed crucial freethrows, but Pop being the coach should have noticed that he got burned with this strategy you are speaking of when the ball got tipped out to Lebron for his three pointer. You are supposed to adjust which he failed to do and now making excuses for him. This is up there with the Red Sox putting Buckner in the game. The only thing that makes Buckner more infamous is the fact the franchise hasn’t won in like a 100 years…nonetheless both boneheaded decisions cost a championship.

  • Evan Boland

    Keep spewing ignorant cliches my friend. Really shows that you know your stuff.

  • danpowers

    please do all of us a favor: get a dictionary and look up the word “ignorant”

  • Evan Boland

    All your foolish cliches and states ignore what’s really going on out there between the lines. Anyone who’s really watching is well aware that the better team doesn’t always win. Nor does the most talent always equal the best team. BTW, I think Lebron is perhaps the greatest player ever at maximizing his team’s potential.

  • danpowers

    i dont disagree with all you say here, but in no way does a team win 4 games before their opponents in a best of seven series if it plays worse than the opposite team. that could maybe work in one or two games due to luck / bad luck. i dont buy the conspiracy theories at all. there might be a set up game every once in a while, but not a whole series. remember the bad press the nba would risk if they’d really set up a whole finals series. that would equal economic suicide. doesnt seem very probable to me.

  • straight cake

    This is all 20/20 Hindsight because if the Spurs ended up winning game 6 anyways you would have blamed Lebron for those two nearly costly turnovers and the Heat for not stepping up and redeeming themselves. Duncan can guard BIGS down low but he can not guard a mobile 3 point shooter such as Ray Allen so it would not have made sense to keep him in the game during that play because Miami was gonna send out all the snipers to try and make a comeback. Once again the game was about to end if they had made those free throws, they make those free throws we dont have this conversation.

  • Evan Boland

    I don’t buy the conspiracy theories. I just though SA was the better team, by a small small margin. Basically equals.

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