Excuse the pun, but the Spurs’ Boris Diaw doesn’t hold the weight of say, an NBA MVP. Or an All-Star. Or some role players. But on Thursday the big Frenchman hit all seven of his field goals and went for 16 points to help put San Antonio ahead, 2-1, on the Los Angeles Clips. He’s your average role player, who nine years into his career has averages of 9.5 points, 4.9 boards and 4.0 assists per game on 49 percent shooting. He’s also the butt of nearly every fat joke in the NBA.
According to similarity scores by Basketball Reference, he’s in the same conversation as Matt Harpring, M.L. Carr and Donyell Marshall, and that’s a very quiet conversation. It’s not to say he’s become the missing link to the Spurs’ success since his late-season pickup on March 23 as a free agent (but the Spurs are 26-2 since he arrived). Here’s what Gregg Popovich said about Diaw after the Game 3 win: “(Diaw) is pretty well known for what he does. He’s done it for other teams, and now he’s doing it for us. He’s fit in pretty seamlessly. It’s basketball, it’s not that complicated.”
Instead, with the Spurs’ too-old, too-slow persona back in vogue, Diaw’s perfect playoff night’s a chance to look at the most memorable plays of his NBA career.
*** *** ***
5. A highlight by default, Diaw’s “block” of LeBron is pretty hilarious nonetheless. LBJ goes up, ball goes in the rim, ball goes of Diaw’s dome out of the rim. Cut, move on to the next scene.
4. Amar’e isn’t a shutdown forward on the defensive end, but Diaw puts him through a spin cycle with the spin move and finish with the opposite hand. Some help defense — any semblance of help D, for that matter — would have helped, of course, but with the Knicks you can’t expect that.