Culture of Hoops

Watch: Every Beautiful Boris Diaw Pass from the 2014 NBA Finals

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs is an inspiration to pickup basketball players everywhere. He’s a testament to how much someone can affect an NBA Finals without being able to jump, run fast, or outmatch an opponent with his strength.

Of course, most pickup players aren’t 6’8″. Or “250” pounds.

How exactly did Bobo become the missing link to the San Antonio Spurs’ championship aspirations?

Skill, baby.

While many in this generation of stretch-4s are merely 6’8″ players and taller that are able to knock down three-pointers and keep defenses honest, Diaw has two extra wrinkles in his game. One is his defense. But if his skill set stopped there he’d be just another “3-and-D” player slotted at power forward, a la Shane Battier in his later years.

The second wrinkle is his passing. Diaw is possibly the best passing power forward in the NBA. For his career, he averages 4.6 assists per 36 minutes, and he averaged 6.2 assists per game (in addition to 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds) in 2005-06 for the Phoenix Suns. In the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, Diaw averaged 5.8 assists per game.

Here is every one of his beautiful passes from that series:



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