Spurs win because Boris Diaw, I guess
Can we please get rid of back-to-back situations in the NBA, Mr. Commissioner? The Mavericks were never in this one, especially without the services of Shawn Marion; the Spurs just kind of cruised, even without the presence of Manu Ginobili (who sat out with a ‘tight left hamstring’) and Tiago Splitter.
After San Antonio’s 112-90 blowout of Dallas, Popovich was asked if his team bounced back well after nearly blowing a late double-digit lead.
“I’d say they responded fairly well,” he responded. “Were you at the game?”
Well, yes, he probably was, as far as I know. Then again, he might have been sleeping like the rest of us. Which I mean, hey, great win from a Spurs team playing without two of its main pieces. Beyond portions of the first half, this game was never really in question. And the defense was great.
San Antonio started Boris Diaw on this night in an effort to thwart the mighty Dirky, and Nowitzki was pretty terrible. He went 3-for-14 from the floor on his way to a paltry eight points, and it was ALL because of Boris. Definitely not a tired Dirk. Not that.
In fact, this was Diaw’s night.
“I thought Boris was magnificent tonight,” Pop said.
As the media swarmed Diaw (it’s San Antonio, c’mon) in the locker room after the game, Tim Duncan filtered in the other door.
“You got Tim!” Spurs PR yelled.
“Or you guys can talk to Boris, that’s cool with me,” Duncan exclaimed as he approached the scene.
Yeah right. Much to Duncan’s boyish delight, cameras and microphones, badly dressed reporters and overdressed bloggers swung toward the other side of the room. Then came tonight’s recap all in one interview.
“I’m only talking about Boris tonight. Boris was great tonight. Boris did an excellent job on Dirk, defensively, moved the ball really well, made great decisions out there and he was kind of the difference in the game for us,” Duncan said.
Some person named Ben: Pop went as far as to say he was magnificent.
“Sure. Boris was magnificent. He was great. He did all the little things out there and did an excellent job on Dirk, so he gave us a chance to get some space in the game and control Dirk without having to double-team him or anything else, and that was a big advantage for us.
Another guy: Yesterday it looked like you might have needed to get some rest in the fourth but you had to go back out there. (paraphrase)
“Yeah, Boris wasn’t as good yesterday. So if Boris was better yesterday then we would’ve been better yesterday in the fourth quarter; but Boris wasn’t as good yesterday, so I had to play the fourth quarter — we had to play the fourth quarter. But Boris was much better tonight, so we didn’t have to play the fourth quarter.
Same guy: So has (Boris) become the MVP of this team?
“Boris is the MVP of this team, especially tonight.”
Still another guy: As a team, when you have a game like last night that goes to overtime, you’ve got to play again today early, you’ve got to travel … do you ever really know what kind of juice everyone’s going to have?
“Boris brought great energy tonight. Boris was unbelievable energy-wise in the starting lineup; he knew he had a tough matchup, and he brought the energy we needed to get us over the top.
Another person: Were there any other French players besides Boris that played well?
(Duncan thinks, glances away, pauses)
“No. Boris was the main cog in the entire game. Any other questions?”
So, whatever, I guess. Sometimes there are nights where there isn’t much to say. The Spurs were very good one night after things got complicated in Memphis; Manu rested after his hamstring tightened on a game-winning shot, but San Antonio didn’t need him. They’ll need him soon, though.
Just take this win and tack it on the board. The Spurs are 28-8 and currently alone atop the Western Conference. And they’re not nearly at their best yet.