Little Big Man?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — DeJuan Blair started at center in college and had no problems dealing with taller opponents.

But that was college.

Blair as a starting center in the NBA is, in a word made famous by Mike Tyson, “ludicrous … or not if you are Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who hasn’t finalized his starting five just yet.

But anyone that assumed Tiago Splitter or Antonio McDyess would just snag the starting job alongside Tim Duncan clearly doesn’t understand how highly the Spurs regard Blair and all that he brings to the game.

Again, Popovich hasn’t committed to anything yet. He could be warming to the idea of Blair in the first five, though, per Jeff McDonald of the Express News:

Popovich was hesitant to pair Blair with Duncan at times last season, preferring to play his All-Star power forward with big men who can spread the floor.

Can Duncan and Blair co-exist? Popovich need only look at his 2007 NBA title team, which often paired Fabricio Oberto with Duncan in the frontcourt.

“If Timmy can play with Fab, he can play with DB,” Popovich said. “Those guys are similar, in that neither were really shooters.”

We love the idea of Blair as the Spurs’ starting (little) big man. So what if he’s just 6-foot-7 (on his tip-toes) and has no ACLs to speak of. Blair’s a “baller” in the truest sense of the word.

You saw him grind last year and you know he’s legit.

But would you make him your starting center?

Time to vote!

10 Comments

  1. Kb says:

    let blair take a shot. from the looks of his play, i think he is a hard worker in the court also he is a good offensive player hes a good scorer and hes a lil bit athletic. his only disadvantage is his height. he maybe a ben wallace in the near future. :)

  2. johann says:

    Blair just needs a time to shine like any other basketball player

  3. justin says:

    blair has the inside game hes a tough team player but hmm wat happens wen he has to guard pau gasol he can play center
    bynum perhaps lol

  4. WG says:

    DeJuan Blair is 6’7, This would make him currently the second shortest center. Chuck Hayes at 6’6 managed fine and then some for Houston while Yao Ming was injured, I Think Blair is a better player and would a greater contribution than Hayes did for the Rockets. Duncan will always be a GREAT defender regardless of the rebounds he pulls down, having Blair in the Middle will allow Duncan to focus more on Offense, something the aging Big Three could use.

  5. matt says:

    he would not be the first undersized centre. if he could take on a role like Ben Wallace did, rebounding and defense, he will be effective. its only an issue against the Rockets where Yao has nearly an foot in height advantage

  6. bdiddy says:

    I think as time goes on it is possible that Tiago earns the starting spot as the second Spurs Big Man, but for the first part of the season he’ll definitely be coming off of the bench.

    Blair is a baller, but his height will put him at a disadvantage, and until he fully adjusts to the NBA he will have foul trouble on most nights, so his time will be somewhat inconsistent.

  7. Brazilian Guy says:

    They will not need to play Blair at Center when Splitter comes from injury

    • daez says:

      Blair gets C start over Splitter. Splitter is a rookie and hasn’t proven anything yet

      • HK says:

        hes proven over here in europe but yeah he will have to show them what he can do off the bench first before he gets the opportunity to start

  8. think says:

    The starting 5 doesnt have to be the same in every game, its up to the coach to make the adjustments on a per game basis. The thing is, Spurs’ coach is Pop, so he has all the credibility in the world to do whatever he wants as far as player rotation. The previous years, Pop assigned Manu, definitely a second option to most teams, as a sixth man. Thats how the Spurs and its players trust Pop. As of this year, the focus is would be more on getting most of the players not named Duncan, Parker or Manu so that theyd be on the same page come playoff time.

    It doesnt really matter who starts at C… Its San Antonio, and its Popovich. At least for a moment we’re not looking at LA, Miami or those type of teams :)