The San Antonio Spurs will begin their march to title number five this Sunday as they face the Utah Jazz in the first round and what is on Spurs fans minds is Utah's huge frontline with Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson.
It won't be the first time San Antonio's first round opponent has a size advantage. Last season the Grizzlies exposed the Spurs' weakness in the paint which led them to upset the Spurs (ranked number one like this season) in the opening round.
But this season, the Spurs still come in a bit undersized but did add forward/center Boris Diaw once he was waived by the Bobcats.
Diaw, along with Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner, will have their hands full playing against the formidable Jazz frontline but Diaw is ready to do what he has to do to help the Spurs get past the Jazz and claim another title.
“Day after day, I’m feeling more comfortable with the team. Adapting to the Spurs’ philosophy is going well."
“I’m very happy to have joined this team, and I’ll do my best to help them reach the top."
“The goal here is to win the ring,” he said.
“Our team is talented and our bench is deep. We can fight for the title.”
And in order to help the Spurs win title number five, Diaw will have to step up and it begins this Sunday. Against the Jazz this season, the versatile forward/center has averaged 50% shooting in the restricted area, 67% from mid-range but has averaged only one block versus the Jazz in two games.
And it's not just Spurs fans looking for Diaw to step up against the frontline of the Jazz. His fellow French countryman Tony Parker and coach Gregg Popovich know how important Diaw is to the Spurs.
“I think Boris is an incredible addition to the team,“ said Parker.
“He’s probably one of the most versatile players in the NBA.”
“He’ll be very important for us during the playoffs.”
“When we knew that Boris was waived by the Bobcats, it didn’t take a long time to decide to recruit him,” admitted Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“He brings a lot of solutions to the team. He can play different positions. It’s important to have a player like that on the team."
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Have you liked the addition of Diaw to the Spurs and is he a key to the Spurs facing Utah's big frontline?
He's a better big man than Blair, in terms of low paint defense. He also has play off experience with Phoenix, where he did pretty good.
He's adequate but, NOT the big man the spurs are looking for. In so far as the nba finals in concerned, the spurs have to play help defense double or triple teaming the big guys of the opposing teams. What counts is that the big 3 are healthy and ready to play, the rest fall on the shoulders of the role players. The spurs are peaking at the right time. Go Spurs!