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Matt Bonner to start Game 5 for Spurs vs. Thunder

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

More postseason coverage: Playoff schedule, results | Latest news, notes

The San Antonio Spurs elected to start Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter in Game 5 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. It's a move to try and peel Serge Ibaka out of the paint and open up the offense for the Spurs. It'll be interesting to see if the Thunder keep Kendrick Perkins on Tim Duncan and move Ibaka on to Bonner, or switch and keep Ibaka low by having him guard Tim Duncan. You risk foul trouble in that situation.

Meanwhile, Bonner will presumably guard Perkins, a non-offensive threat. It's interesting that the Spurs have elected to make a starting lineup as this series goes on. It reflects a change in approach by Popovich that will either be tactical genius or desperation depending on the outcome.

Here's Bonner's regular season shot chart.

 
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