Spurs to start Boris Diaw over Tiago Splitter in Game 3

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Boris Diaw tipped the Western Conference finals in the Spurs’ favor, and he’s sparked them so far in the NBA Finals.

How much longer can San Antonio keep him out of the starting lineup?

About another 20 minutes.

Diaw lifts the Spurs’ offense through his passing. He’s a huge mismatch – able to pull bigger defenders to the 3-point arc and post-up smaller one. San Antonio is so much more threatening offensively with him on the court.

He just can’t guard LeBron James, and that showed in Game 2.

San Antonio should maximize the minutes Diaw and Kawhi Leonard play together against LeBron, so Leonard can guard LeBron and Diaw can play a fundamental offensive role. On the other end, Diaw can try to hide on Rashard Lewis.

The Spurs’ new starting lineup – Tony Parker, Danny Green, Leonard, Diaw and Tim Duncan – has played just a minute in the Finals, but it’s has a history of success.

Regular season/playoffs:

  • Minutes: 104/22
  • Offensive rating: 112.6/141.1
  • Defensive rating: 85.3/103.3
  • Net rating: +27.2/+37.7

Those numbers might come down to earth tonight, but this is the lineup – along with plenty of minutes with Manu Ginobili replacing Green – that gives the Spurs their best chance to win.