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News » Confidence shows in Bonner's shot

Confidence shows in Bonner's shot

Confidence shows in Bonner's shot Looking even more pale than usual, Spurs forward Matt Bonner plopped down in the chair at his locker after Tuesday's preseason game against the Houston Rockets and rubbed his left shoulder.

"Flu shot," said Bonner, who became a father over the summer when his wife, Nadia, gave birth to Evangeline-Vesper Bonner. "I hate needles, but we've got a little girl at home now, so I took one for the kid."

Flu shots were available to all the Spurs after Tuesday's game, and most of the players sported bandages on their shoulders.

Bonner, whose 44 percent 3-point shooting last season led the Spurs, made four of seven shots from beyond the 3-point arc in Tuesday's 99-85 loss to the Rockets. One of his misses was a hurried heave after catching a pass with just tenths of a second remaining in the first half.

Bonner finished with 14 points in just 16 minutes and 21 seconds.

"He's more relaxed every year, understanding what he can do best, obviously," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's getting rid of it more quickly than he ever has and not worrying about making a mistake. He's playing more mature Basketball."

Now in his fourth season with the Spurs, Bonner said confidence, born of experience, accounts for his willingness to fire away from long range.

"I'm just trying to build off last year," he said. "With experience, I've learned where I can get open looks. I'm just trying to keep figuring it out.

"I don't know why it takes me so long to figure out to just let it fly. Coach Pop made it very clear last year, at the beginning of the season, that if I'm open, I need to shoot it. I've just taken that attitude ever since."

GM survey singles out Spurs: The league released results of its annual survey of general managers Tuesday, with the Spurs prominent among the results of questions ranging from "Which team will win the 2010 NBA Finals?" to "Which player will be Rookie of the Year?"

The leagues' Basketball decision makers decided the best decisions of the entire offseason were made by the Spurs. According to 71.2 percent of the GMs who responded to the survey, the Spurs made the best moves of the offseason. Orlando received 17.3 percent of the "best moves" votes, with Cleveland, Toronto and Washington each receiving one vote.

As good as the GMs believe the Spurs' offseason moves were, their changes were not enough to convince most voters they will win either the Western Conference or the NBA championship. The defending NBA champion Lakers were overwhelming favorites to win both the Western Conference and NBA title. The Lakers convinced 75.9 percent of the GMs to predict they will win the West; 60.7 to forecast they will win the championship.

The Spurs were the second choice to win the West (24.1 percent) and fourth choice to win the title (3.6 percent).

The Celtics, with 50 percent of the votes, were the pick to win the East. The Cavaliers got 42.9 percent of the votes. The defending Eastern Conference champion Magic got only 7.1 percent of the votes.

Other survey results: Cavaliers' LeBron James (69 percent) to repeat as MVP; Clippers rookie Blake Griffin (79.3 percent) to be Rookie of the Year; Wizards (48.3 percent) to be most improved team; the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (48.3 percent) as best international player; the Magic's Dwight Howard (46.4 percent) as best defensive player; Lakers coach Phil Jackson (37 percent) as best coach, edging Popovich (33 percent).

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 8, 2009


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