Boris Diaw may not be the most athletic player in the league, but what he does on the floor for the Spurs has been missed during the teams three-game skid.
San Antonio fans had to deal with something that they have not felt in a long, long time as they walked out of the AT&T Center on Sunday, a Spurs loss. The Spurs are now 39-1 at home, which is still a remarkable record, but their quest at history did fall short by the hands of the hottest team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.
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Diaw has been a key contributor to the Spurs success this season. The team did miss his strong play during their losing streak. He is not a big scorer by any means but what he does when he is on the floor is what the Spurs were missing. Diaw is an incredible passer. His basketball IQ is tremendous. What Diaw does so well is using his body to his advantage.
During their March 19th game against the Warriors, Diaw had one of his best games of the season. He played 35-minutes on his way to 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. Yes, it was a lot of minutes logged for Diaw as he averages 18 a game this season. Those minutes though contributed to helping the Spurs win their sixth straight and a dominating win against the Warriors.
In their next two meetings against the Warriors, including Sundays, his play was missed. Diaw is fascinating to observe. He is an oddly-shaped man, with a belly and a protruding chest. He doesn’t run down the court as much as he lumbers, yet he can flash amazing quickness at key moments.
Diaw can be infuriatingly timid on the basketball court, reluctant to shoot, drive or do anything that resembles confidence. Then, as soon as the defender lets his guard down, Diaw’s bombing away from three-point land, penetrating to the rim and playing cool under pressure. The man is 6’8 and 250 pounds and can somehow guard anyone.
Diaw’s uneasiness somehow functions as a strength. Everyone on the court understands his reluctance, but when the moment is right, he finds opportune times to cash in for the Spurs.
The Spurs are back on the floor Tuesday as they play their last home game of the season, as the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town. Diaw may be available. With two games left in the regular season, it would be good to get Diaw back on the floor to get back into rhythm before the playoffs start.