Boris Diaw was largely a punchline for the few seasons he spent in Charlotte. Primarily people joked about his weight and how he was on such a bad team with such a bad contract. Then he was traded to San Antonio, and low and behold, he became a playoff contributor who was able to make an impact.
And it looks like he’ll stay that way.
Yahoo Sports reports that Diaw has agreed to terms on a 2-year, $9 million deal to re-sign with the Spurs. The second year is reportedly a team option.
It’s a fine move for the Spurs, who need as much depth down low as they can get, especially from anyone who can defend worth a lick. Diaw, along with Stephen Jackson, were added at the trade deadline and there was a marked improvement defensively from San Antonio. That carried over into the playoffs against the overwhelmed Utah Jazz who found Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson shut down by the Spurs, and then the Clippers, where Diaw played shockingly good defense against Blake Griffin while helping on pick and roll containment of Chris Paul.
Granted, all that went down the tubes when the real San Antonio defense showed up against the Thunder and their defense imploded, but that was a matchup where Diaw wasn’t fit to get much time and it showed. When he was on the floor for the Spurs, he helped. And that’s why he’s back in Texas. His comfort level with San Antonio is high, not just because of their success, but because of their international acceptance and presence alongside fellow Frenchman Tony Parker.
The Spurs aren’t making any huge moves, they’re just making another run with a team that won a ton of games. Hard to argue with that philosophy.
The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.
The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.
That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.
Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.
Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.
Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.
Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”
Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.
Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.
“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.
The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.
New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.
That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.
Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.
Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.
Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.
He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.
The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.
Smart move, Jimmy.