With most attention being given to the Spurs' continued struggles and Richard Jefferson's underwhelming performance this season, it's good to give emphasis on the Spurs' other offseason additions that play important roles in the Spurs' rotation. Namely Antonio McDyess and Keith Bogans.
While their signings was not as hyped as getting Richard Jefferson or drafting DeJuan Blair, they might be the additional pieces needed by the Spurs for a successful title run this season.
Let us start with Antonio McDyess. Bringing in McDyess helped fill the void left by Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto. He is a solid veteran perceived as a player who can complement Duncan's game.
He has proven in the past that he can hit the mid-range jumper with consistency and can help out in getting rebounds. He is just what Duncan needed by his side in the paint.
But McDyess struggled early on with the Spurs and people started to wonder just how much he has left. For the season, he is averaging 6.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. A far cry compared to his season average of 9.6 points and 9.8 rebounds just a year ago with the Pistons.
While his slow start could be attributed to the fact he is still learning and trying fit in to an entirely new system in San Antonio, he is also known for being a slow starter and usually find his rhythm during the second half of the season.
Unsurprisingly, he has been playing solid basketball as of late averaging 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in his last five outings while shooting 63% from the field. That is a welcome development for a Spurs team that needs more inside presence, toughness, court savvy and energy on the floor.
Whether McDyess' resurgence is a start of good things to come only time will tell. But if he continues to sustain his improved play throughout the season, the Spurs' front office will look like geniuses once again.
That brings us to Keith Bogans. We called the Bogans' signing an “under-the-radar” move because unlike Jefferson or McDyess, he was not big name acquisition. But with the departure of Bruce Bowen, getting Bogans was a no-brainer because he can provide much needed defense on the perimeter and can shoot the 3 at a fairly decent rate -- 35% for his career and 38% this season.
Don’t get me wrong, Bogans can’t replace Bruce. But he hustles and is a tough defender. I actually see him as poor man's version Bruce Bowen.
His numbers will not "wow" you either. He is averaging only 4.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assist in 20 minutes of playing time. Although his 42.3% shooting from the field is a career high.
However, Bogans has been more aggressive lately and his production have shown some improvements. He averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 53.3% shooting from the floor in the team's last five games.
But the Spurs they don’t expect much scoring from Bogans. Instead they need him to be a steady presence on the defensive end of the floor and any points he gives could be considered a bonus.
More than just numbers, the most important thing for both McDyess and Bogans is to continue to get comfortable with their roles and gain more confidence as the season goes on. Their veteran smarts will come in handy for the Spurs in the playoffs.
And although it could be said that McDyess and Bogans have been under-performing, there are encouraging signs. McDyess is starting to find his spots and while Bogans is not producing much on offense, his perimeter defense is arguably helping to the Spurs’ cause.
What do you guys think? Are they playing out as expected or are they turning out to be major disappointments? Send us your thoughts and opinions on this matter.