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When you look at the Game 5 box score, a lot of Spurs jump out at you. Not Boris Diaw, though, and that's why box scores never tell the full story.
Diaw's statline? One point, 0-for-1 shooting, four rebounds and three assists. However, that doesn't even begin to describe the impact he had.
First of all, Diaw made some fantastic passes. That bounce pass he made from the corner to a cutting Kawhi Leonard? A thing of beauty.
That was one aspect of his game that was superb. The next? His defense on LeBron James.
When Diaw defended James on Sunday night, the MVP shot 1-of-8. When anyone else covered him? 7-of-14.
It was blatantly obvious that Diaw's size was giving LeBron issues. James is used to being able to overpower whomever may be guarding him. He can't do that with Diaw—well, not as easily, at least.
There was a moment early on in Game 5 when James was flying down the court like a freight train. Normally, he would bulldoze everything in his path on the way to an easy layup or dunk. This time, he ran into Diaw near the basket, and he was stonewalled.
From that point on, whenever Diaw was on the floor, he stuck on LeBron. James could not budge him in the post, so he resorted to taking some contested perimeter jumpers.
Gregg Popovich may have found something here with Diaw. Expect to see more of him on LeBron in Game 6.