Like every other aspect of this team, the San Antonio Spurs' bench is under performing in this series against the Memphis Grizzlies. The bigs coming off the bench are playing worse than any Spurs playoff team I can remember. While the backcourt is producing up to their regular season averages, they haven't been a viable alternative to a starting backcourt that is either banged up (Manu Ginobili) or playing poorly like Tony Parker. You expect to get a lift from your bench when you are in a tough and physical playoff series. But what the Spurs have gotten is the status quo at best or grossly under performing at worst.
I've never seen a group of bigs coming off the bench for the Spurs that has been a bigger liability in a playoff series then this one. Matt Bonner has been atrocious. And as bad as his shooting has been, his defense has been worse. Any big he gets matched up with for Memphis has a clear advantage over him and it's exploited repeatedly. No casual fan had ever heard of Darrel Arthur before this series, and in one playoff series, while being matched up with Bonner, and he trended worldwide on Twitter. I've never seen a player who took so much off the table and put so little on it when his shot isn't falling. Also, Bonner once again shows he is great in the regular season but vanishes in the playoffs.
DeJuan Blair is all heart. He battles for rebounds and plays defense with as much passion as anyone in basketball. But his lack of height has hurt the Spurs tremendously in this series. He just can't handle the Grizzlies bigs in the paint. Then again none of the Spurs' bigs have but Blair is at a disadvantage. The Grizzlies big men have been grabbing offensive rebounds right over the top of his head and getting put backs or backing him down for a high percentage shots at the rim seemingly at will. It's gotten to the point where Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich had to give minutes to Tiago Splitter in game four, partially due to Blair's disadvantage. It would be in DeJuan's best interest to work on his jump shot during the presumed lockout.