What's gotten into Boris Diaw?
An appreciation of Boris and a video mix featuring Bobo and some old school funk.
Be sure to check out the first two parts to the series.
If you're a frequent reader of Pounding the Rock you probably know how much I enjoy watching Boris Diaw play basketball. If you are not, allow me to point you to a couple of pieces about Boris in the must reads section to the right. He's such a skilled, versatile and unselfish player and his skill-set is unique in the league. As we saw throughout the season and in the playoffs when he is happy and playing in a system that he believes plays the game the right way he is a very valuable member of a team. I'm glad the Spurs and Boris were able to come to an agreement that will keep him in silver and black for at least a couple more years, barring a trade of course.
Boris tallied 78 assists during the Spurs' championship run, and it was really hard to choose between quite a few of them. This could easily have been a list of 25, but somehow I kept it to just 15. Enjoy.
In this play we see Manu Ginobili feed Boris Diaw in the post against Vince Carter. Boris sizes up VC as Manu gets an off-ball screen from Tim Duncan and cuts through the lane where Bobo hits him in stride with a nice bounce pass that leads to an easy layup from the Argentine.
While not the most impressive of passes, this play makes the cut for the steal of Carter and the perfect execution on the fastbreak.
Look at how awesome this pass to the diving Splitter is. Boris places the bounce perfectly between the two Dallas bigs and Tiago gets an and-one to go as Wright is too late to do anything but foul.
Bonus content: Mark Cuban with an "aw shucks" reaction before returning to a seated position. That's as much fun as the pass.
Bobo receives an entry pass from Manu Ginobili and is immediately aggressive, but he doesn't have to actually do any work this time. He spots Aron Baynes, who has cut back-door, and makes the easy pass to the Big Banger for an easy score.
Check out Manu make a cross-court pass to Boris DIaw. Boris then fakes Marion into the air and drives into the paint where he is met by Brandon Wright. With Wright forced to step up to stop Boris, Tim is left open deep in the restricted area. Diaw makes a nice shovel pass to Big Fun who immediately puts up a little layup for a couple of points.
A great entry pass from Gino to Boris Diaw forces LeBron to rotate over to Boris and Ray Allen to leave Patty to stop Kawhi Leonard's baseline cut. Result: A wide open Patty Mills triple. What really makes this plays though is how pumped up Bobo is. Great pass and a great fist pump. It's not as great as his "Proverbial Dagger" celebration, but it's certainly on a bigger stage.
As soon as Boris and Tony Parker got into the half-court after transition they immediately ran a pick-and-roll, which the Thunder defended by switching Serge Ibaka onto Parker and Reggie Jackson onto Boris. TP and Boris know that Jackson can't stop Boris in the post so Parker enters the ball, Boris backs Reggie all the way down, and Steven Adams has to bring help because Diaw is about to score. That leaves Timmy open to score easily after catching a great pass from Boris.
Boris only had two assists during the Boris Diaw Game, doing most of his damage by scoring, but this wonderful pass that leads Tony to an open corner triple is pretty great.
The trailing Boris receives a pass at the top of the arc from Patty Mills, gives a tiny fake that gets Durant into the air, drives into the paint which draws Derek Fisher off of Manu Ginobili in the corner, and then makes an excellent pass that leads to a Manu tres.
This is pretty. Boris Diaw has no problem getting into the paint versus Kevin Durant and Kawhi is able to cut backdoor to give Boris an option as he's double teamed by Steven Adams. Kawhi arrives under the basket with perfect timing and the Big Frenchman hits him with a nice pass and Whi gets the layup to drop.
Popovich said he didn't call Kawhi's number once in the playoffs, but this play to start the second quarter is the alley-oop play the Spurs used to run for Richard Jefferson. The point guard, Boris DIaw here, sets up on the left side while a big, Tiago Splitter in this case, clears out of the lane and sets a screen to free the small forward who then makes his way to the hoop and looks for the lob. Boris places the ball perfectly for Whi.
Watch Boris go up and get an offensive rebound as the Heat don't do a good job of boxing out on Tony's miss. Boris takes a couple of dribbles as he surveys the floor and finds Timmy with an open lane in front of him near the free throw line. That's great chemistry and play from these two San Antonio big men.
Boris was the leading assist man for the Spurs in The Finals and this behind-the-back bouncer to Tiago Splitter for a dunk is a beauty.
The hammer play from the post. Danny Green enters the ball to Boris who then flashes a glance at Patty and it's on. Bobo spins as Patty cuts to the farthest part of the corner getting just enough space from a bump on Wesley Matthews from Timmy. Diaw delivers a beautiful wraparound pass and Mills' three is pure. This is next level basketball. It's perfect timing from two players and pinpoint accuracy on a really tough 30-foot sidearm pass with heat that has a small window.
Instead of challenging Bosh at the rim, Bobo finds Tim Duncan open at the basket with a beautiful no-look wraparound pass that leads to a one hand jam from the big fella. Beautiful.
Stay tuned for Part Four.