Tag: Boris Diaw

New Orleans Pelicans v Minnesota Timberwolves

Pelicans pull French center Alexis Ajinca out of EuroBasket


New Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry has big plans for Alexis Ajinca. In the coach’s up-tempo offense, Ajinca’s athleticism makes a good fit behind and next to Anthony Davis. With that, Ajinca is expected to see an increased role and minutes (even though the team did bring back Omer Asik). That’s why they signed him to a four-year, $20 million deal this offseason.

Ajinca has been playing this summer with the French national team as they prepare to defend their EuroBasket title and earn a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, a week before the tournament starts, the Pelicans have pulled him out, reports eurohoops.net.

The player felt pain in his Achilles tendon since the start of the preparation period at the 20th of July. His condition remained unchanged, however the New Orleans Pelicans decided to forbid him from playing in the Eurobasket.

This was not a situation that was so bad New Orleans said he couldn’t even consider playing for his country; it was a relatively minor issue. But as it hasn’t improved, the Pelicans decided not to risk anything with a guy they just agreed to lock down for four years.

This is a blow to France, but they remain one of the deepest teams at EuroBasket and one of the favorites. They still have Rudy Gobert at center, Tony Parker at the point, plus guys like Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, and Evan Fournier on the roster. They could defend their crown, but that task just got a little harder.

What NBA stars will suit up for EuroBasket? Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others

pau gasol spain olympics

EuroBasket matters — it offers both the bragging rights of a European championship and is the 2016 Olympic qualifier for Europe. The top two finishers get their tickets punched for Rio for the 2016 games (the USA and Brazil have already qualified). Finishers three through seven get invited to the 2016 pre-Olympics qualifying tournament, where they can try to play their way into the final field of 12 (likely a couple of them succeed).

Because it matters, some of the NBA’s big names will suit up when play tips off Sept. 5 —  Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others. There are 29 players under NBA contract in total expected to participate. Mark Cuban and many NBA GMs will watch clutching their lucky blanket and hoping against injury, but this is the kind of tournament that draws stars.

If you’ve wondered who is going, here’s a list of every NBA player suiting up in EuroBasket, hat tip to Hoopshype.

Bojan Bogdanovic (Brooklyn Nets)
Mario Hezonja (Orlando Magic)
Damjan Rudez (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans)
Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)
Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs)
Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Joffrey Lauvergne (Denver Nuggets)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
Tibor Pleiss (Utah Jazz)
Dennis Schroeder (Atlanta Hawks)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kosta Koufos (Sacramento Kings)
Kostas Papanikolaou (Denver Nuggets)

Andrea Bargnani (Brooklyn Nets)
Marco Belinelli (Sacramento Kings)
Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets)

Omri Casspi (Sacramento Kings)

Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)

Marcin Gortat (Washington Wizards)

Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks)

Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)
Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls)

Furkan Aldemir (Philadelphia 76ers)
Ersan Ilyasova (Detroit Pistons)

Alex Len (Phoenix Suns)

Report: Spurs-Rockets fills NBA’s Christmas schedule. Would Gregg Popovich rest starters?

Tim Duncan,Dwight Howard,James Harden

We already knew four of the NBA’s five Christmas games:

With the Knicks watching from home, that left the Spurs and Rockets as the most prominent unaccounted-for teams. Unsurprisingly, the Texas rivals will play each other.

Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News:

Let me get this straight: The Spurs are on the road, coming off a road game after only one off day and on a back-to-back with the second game at home.

Those seem like the right ingredients for Gregg Popovich to rest his starters. Better to sit them on the road leg of a back-to-back so they’re available for San Antonio’s home fans the next day.

Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw are all in their 30s and benefit from extra rest. They’re also very good, meaning the Spurs are planning for a long playoff run. This is especially not the year for them to chance injury, and it’s not as if they’ve liberally pushed their aging players previously.

Would Popovich actually do sit his stars for a nationally televised game on the NBA’s premier regular-season date? I’m not sure, but I’m also not sure why the NBA is testing his resolve.

Boris Diaw: Tim Duncan has six or seven seasons left in him

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four

Tim Duncan will return for his 19th season. He’ll play the “same boring game,” scoring efficiently from mid-range and in, grabbing rebounds and defending without fouling.

How many more years can the 39-year-old Duncan keep doing this?

Spurs teammate Boris Diaw, via Sports Illustrated:

I don’t know – six, seven.

I have no idea, but he’s always good. He’s always great. He’s just a great example for all the young kids, everybody.

He’s always 100 percent when we do practice. He’s always the first guy to the gym and working. He’s got a great work ethic.

He doesn’t jump as often, and so he doesn’t wear his ligaments and his muscles and everything. He’s just playing the same very basic basketball, but it works so great because he’s such a master at all the moves and everything. So, that makes him be able to take advantage of players who are more athletic and younger than him.

Diaw chuckled when he said that, but I don’t think it’s completely unrealistic.

Duncan is declining – not as rapidly as most players, though it’s hard to project whether that will continue. More concretely, he’s declining from such a high peak, giving him more room for error. If Duncan’s production decreases by 15% every year – and it hasn’t so far – he’ll remain a viable NBA player for a while.

There are assets that he won’t lose, namely height and fundamentals. That’s a big start.

Though he’s less reliant on athleticism than most players, he still needs some to compete in the world’s best league. He also needs to continue his good injury luck, which his training can help.

Duncan isn’t the first player to fit that profile. Most other players who do don’t play into their mid-40s due to ego. They don’t want to become role players as their talent erodes with age. At that point, they prefer retirement. I doubt, based purely on precedent of other players, Duncan is different.

But if he’s comfortable eventually becoming a backup and then maybe even a bench-warmer, it’s hardly impossible to see him extending his career well beyond the usual limits.

Glenn Robinson III dunks while riding a phunkeeduck (VIDEO)

Atlanta Hawks v San Antonio Spurs

That is dunking at the speed of Boris Diaw. Nice spin moves, though, is that a 1440?

That is the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III showing off how to dunk on an eight-foot rim while riding a phunkeeduck. I’m not sure this skill moves him up the Pacers depth chart much, but it’s August so we will share it with you.

So we have two-fifths of our phunkeeduck starting five now, Robinson and J.R. Smith. Although we have yet to see Smith play hoops on  one, it’s our suspicion is that he takes a lot of questionable shots while riding it. Just a wild guess.

Hat tip 8 points, 9 seconds.