Monday, December 26, 2011

Life of a long-range shooter

Matt Bonner, the reigning NBA 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Champion, took six shots from a combined 145 feet in the season opener against Memphis. The Red Rocket swished the first missile, a 26-footer from wing, then went cold for the rest of the night in San Antonio's 95-82 win Monday night. That's a typical shot chart for Bonner, entering his 8th season following a busy three months as VP of the NBA Players Association. He usually makes more (hitting 46 percent of 3-point attempts last season) but even when Bonner misses, he still stretches the defense and provides more operating room for Manu Ginobili (24 points) and Tony Parker (15 points). The Spurs are a veteran bunch that dissect teams with ball movement, an extra pass, and a 35-year-old Tim Duncan ... Spurs opened the 3Q with a 25-5 outburst, capped with Kawhi Leonard's first basket of his NBA career, a trey. Leonard, 20, played two years at San Diego State and averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 boards last season ... A look at the trophy sitting on Bonner's mantle:

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