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San Antonio Spurs' DeJuan Blair In Sophomore Slump

The stars were aligned for DeJuan Blair this season it seemed. He was fresh off a solid rookie season and was annointed as a starter this season for a team with championship aspirations. The line of thinking was more minutes and a year of NBA experience would equal even more production.

Blair was expected by some to have a breakout season this year. But so far, it hasn't happened.

He's starting and playing a few more minutes per game this season, but is scoring less (6.1 ppg) and rebouding about the same (6.6 rpg). Blair averaged 7.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg in his rookie season while shooting 55%. In the offseason, he had worked hard to slim down and get better away from the basket. But that hasn't seemed to help as his shooting percentage has dipped down to 40% this season.

Accordingly, his playing time is getting cut. He played 28 minutes on Tuesday night, but in the four previous games, had only averaged a meager nine minutes per game.

I don't think Blair will fall off the face of the earth - he works too hard to do that. But even though he's still been starting, it may be a matter of time before he returns to the bench. And since he was more productive there last season, that might not be a bad idea.