Boris Diaw

Spurs’ Boris Diaw out 3-4 weeks due to back surgery

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Gregg Popovich has shown he’d prefer not to play DeJuan Blair — Boris Diaw has taken over a lot of the minutes (22 a game) that went to Blair because the Diaw’s skill set is a better fit with what the Spurs want to do. Diaw only averages 5.8 points a game but he shot 53.8 percent from the floor and he’s a respectable shot from three (38 percent this season).

However, Popovich is going to have to rely on Blair — and likely more Matt Bonner to space the floor — early in the playoffs because Diaw will be out three to four weeks, the team announced.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that forward Boris Diaw had a synovial cyst excised from his lumbar spine. The surgery was performed Thursday in San Antonio.

This is just an escalation of what the Spurs said two days ago, when they said he would be out 2-3 weeks to rest a back injury. Apparently he needed more than rest, but this is not that serious.

The Spurs are likely to face the Lakers or Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, and either way a switch of Blair for Diaw is not going to make a difference. If Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are healthy enough to play, the Spurs should have little trouble in the first round.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.