Originally Posted by katyspursfan
You may want to consider that defenses change during the playoffs.
When a team comes to town in the regular season, they worry about who's playing and how to defend any of the Big Three. And they spend a day or two developing the scheme. Then they move on to how to defend Dirk, or Durant, or whoever is next on the schedule.
During a series, they spend more time on the initial scheme, and then get to spend days analyzing what worked and what didn't. While Bonner may be nothing more than an afterthought in February, he can be a major focus by game three of a series.
So maybe it's not (totally) a mental thing. Maybe it's a few hours of practice defending a stretch four. Maybe it's all the positions being defended a little better, leading to everything getting tougher.
I considered that, but then I went back and looked at the shooting stats for some of our other former snipers (Horry, Finley, Barry, Kerr, Elliott) and they all have had playoffs where the shot at or better than their career averages. If it was a issue of just tighter playoff defenses, then you would see the Bonner phenomenon occur with these guys. The thing about three point shooters is that they can be kind of streaky. They will have games where they go 1-5 or 0-4, or 1-6, but that will be balanced out by the games when the go 4-5 or 6-6 and it is during those games that they usually carry the team to a win. I can remember playoff games where each of the shooters listed above won at least one game for the Spurs either with hot shooting or nailing a game winner. That just has never happened for Bonner.