Rookie DeJuan Blair is slowly putting the league on notice. First he showed that he can rebound (actually he can grab those boards!); next he proved that he can be effective in limited minutes. Today, he just displayed his offensive repertoire. No it's not a statement game; far from it. But if you're a Spurs fan, it's another reason to get excited. Remember, most teams past on Blair on draft night. Then he said this "All the teams that didn't pick me I'm gonna make you regret it". This is just a preseason game, but it's now clear that Blair is for real. (Click here for Game highlights!)
Blair led the Spurs to victory over the Miami Heat scoring 28 points on 11 of 13 shooting adding 4 boards, 4 assist and 2 steals. He scored 15 of his points in the final quarter, including a nifty basket inside with 1:02 left as the Spurs erased an 11-point deficit over the final 12 minutes.
Coach Pop said some nice things about Blair. "He's a real mobile, agile player, even though he's got the girth that he has, It's a heck of a gift."
Ian Mahinmi played well too scoring 9 points, grabbing 3 rebounds and blocking 3 shots. George Hill added 12 points, Michael Finley scored 10, Curtis Jerrells had 9 and Malik Hairston had a good all-around game scoring 6 points, dished out 5 assists, grabbed 4 boards and added 1 block and a steal for San Antonio, which played without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Daequan Cook scored 20 points, Mario Chalmers added 17, Michael Beasley had 16 points and 6 rebounds and Udonis Haslem finished with 10 and 6 for Miami. The Heat were without Dwyane Wade, Quentin Richardson and Jermaine O'Neal.
"It's just hard work and my teammates trusting in me and just trying to adjust to the system," Blair said. "I'm not showing it, but it's a problem for me. Adjusting to the system is kind of hard, but I'm getting it."
"He's a character guy. He's a quality guy," Popovich said. "He's a hard worker and obviously, he has a passion for the game."
It's a nice come from behind victory, and Blair's great game makes it sweeter...
The Spurs will host Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers on their next preseason game.
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