Longtime Pounders know about my affinity for Boris Diaw. Watching the big man work down low, with his spins, fakes, reverses, up-and-unders and general junk is one of my favorite things during Spurs games. Boris had a handful of nice plays against the Celtics, so we'll feature him a little bit today.
This first play is quintessential Boris. A fake followed by a slow, wide spin as he drives to the basket. The awkward, almost out of control dribbling, using his derrière to clear room to operate and then finishing with a nice up-and-under. Delightful!
Here we see Bobo go to work on the much smaller Marcus Smart, who is just abused by Boris as he works his way into the paint. Amir Johnson makes a good decision to help, but Boris is so smart and aware of what is happening on the basketball court that he's able to see Danny Green making a great cut. What an outstanding pass!
We'll end our mini-Bobo feature with this play that needs no description. Just soak in the majesty of the big Frenchman.
I'm really geeking out about Kawhi's post/midrange game to start the year. It looks effortless for him. Confidence and polish.
LaMarcus Aldridge, after handling a quick pass from Manu, makes a great read as the Celtics defense is sucked into the paint and feeds it right back to Gino for the pure triple.
Finally, let's end with a mistake by Kyle Anderson. The Spurs are coming out of a timeout and a running a set "hammer". The play starts with no hiccups as Kyle brings the ball over halfcourt, swings it to Manu, gets a screen from Tim Duncan (who sets FOUR screens in the play) as he loops under the basket and then makes his way to the weak-side corner. At this point the play is going very smoothly, the Celtics' attention is on Patty Mills and the action on the strong-side.
As Patty starts his drive down the baseline this play looks like a homerun - the misdirection works and we see four Celtics move toward Patty and away from Kyle in the corner. Only Amir Johnson is in position to challenge a shot from the corner and we see Boris set the "hammer" pick on Johnson which would have given Kyle all the time in the world to set his feet and shoot from the corner. But Kyle loses focus and slides up to the break instead of staying where he was and Patty's pass ends up in the first row.
I'm rooting for Kyle, he seems like a good guy and the video that circulated of him talking to some kids about basketball and how he'd love to play for the Spurs endeared him to many fans, but this was bad. It's not only that he messed up a set play that was disappointing (and it WAS a boneheaded mistake), it's the way he handled himself after.
Right after the turnover we see what appears to be Anderson griping at Mills like the Aussie was the one who made a mistake. You see Patty point at the corner, trying to explain what Kyle should have done, but instead of listening and acknowledging his mistake he turns away from Patty and runs up the floor. Then Boris tries to explain that he should have stayed in the corner but Kyle continues to run up the floor as Boris gives the arms-out, palms-up perplexed gesture. Kyle should really listen to the two guys who gave us this beautiful hammer.
Hopefully the young Spur can learn from his mistake and doesn't find himself too deep in Pop's doghouse.