NBA Roundtable

Pops’ Approach To Coaching Blair

In General NBA on October 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm

The San Antonio Express reports

You get a new rookie, the tendency is to want to coach him up right away. You look at all he can’t do, and you want to start making corrections and fiddling with his game.

When it comes to first-year forward DeJuan Blair, the Spurs coaching staff is fighting that temptation for now.

They aren’t remaking his shooting form. They aren’t in his ear constantly about playing defense. They aren’t trying to teach him post moves he doesn’t have. They aren’t trying to make him Mark Price at the foul line, or Dikembe Mutombo at the rim.

For the time being, they are just letting Blair be. In that, the Spurs are just doing what they once did with another prized frontcourt rookie.

“We didn’t even try to coach Tim Duncan at the beginning,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We watched him. Once we figured out what he does, then we tried to do what we could to make it better.”

Popovich is taking the same “observe and report” approach with Blair this preseason.

“We’re going to watch him play and see what his strengths and weaknesses are,” Popovich said, “rather than put him in a box.”

Interesting approach from the Spurs.

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