After two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, DeJuan Blair has become a fan favorite because of his nice demeanor and hustle plays on the court.
Drafted by the Spurs as 37th overall pick in 2009, Blair has proved to be a solid role-player for the team despite being undersized for his position.
Today, Spurs World looks back at Blair’s 20-20 performances, giving little doubt that San Antonio did the right thing in drafting him amid concerns about his knee surgeries and durability.
DeJuan Blair: 28 points and 21 rebounds vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
On January 13, 2010, With the Spurs choosing to give Tim Duncan the night off, Blair grabbed the opportunity and became the first rookie in Spurs history to record a 20-20 game since Duncan, when he finished with 28 points and 21 rebounds (10 offensive rebounds) in a 109-108 overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I’m going to take what he gave us tonight, and I don’t know how he did it, I have no clue what his moves are. He’s just a basketball player. He hustles his [tail] off, he’s got a nose for the ball, he’s got great hands and he does what you saw. We didn’t teach him any of it. He brought it all with him.” said coach Gregg Popovich after the game.
His 20-20 game is not a one hit wonder.
“The Beast” recorded his second 20-20 performance in his rookie season in the Spurs’ final regular season game when he scored 27 points and hauled down 23 rebounds against the Dallas Mavericks.
He also participated in the Rookie Challenge wherein he showed an impressive performance scoring 22 points and grabbing 23 rebounds, becoming the first player to have a 20-20 game in a Rookie Challenge and setting a Rookie Challenge record for rebounds.
Blair is averaging 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes of playing time for his career.
Last season, he averaged 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 81 regular season games for the Spurs, slightly improving his scoring and rebounding output from his rookie season.