It’s that time of year again, where turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings mix with family to create a gluttonous mass that’s only awakened out of their food coma by those Black Friday discounts and the knobby elbows of other customers. The holiday season is upon us, which means the NBA season is underway and there are plenty of things for NBA fans to give thanks for. Here are 10 wide-ranging reasons the people at Dime are thankful for the NBA this season.
*** *** ***
The Ever-Expanding Role (and Waist) of Boris Diaw
What am I most thankful for? Boris Diaw. Yes, you read that right… Boris Babacar Diaw-Riffiod. I want to know what makes up Diaw’s diet. All jokes aside, what is he eating… post-game crepes maybe? What else does a Frenchman eat? The point is, instead of spending the offseason after a crushing Finals loss cutting calories and getting into phenomenal shape as his age progresses, Diaw embraced his weight. Boris has defied the odds! He’s a role model for anyone battling weight issues!
Diaw’s ballooned into a 6-8, 250/60/70/80 pound pleasantly plump big man. Now in his 11th year, his mini-resurgence with the Spurs has allowed Popovich to rest Tim Duncan more often, and Duncan’s sprightliness is a key reason San Antonio remains a contender out West. Sure, Kawhi Leonard might be the future in San Antonio, but he hasn’t exploded this year the way many expected. Boris is putting up 11.2 PPG on 55.9 percent shooting so far this year. Seriously though, he is the key to the Spurs’ title chances! His versatile game (excellent passer and quality long range shooter for a big) makes him an important cog in the well-oiled Spurs machine. I can imagine Popovich preparing a full Thanksgiving spread for Diaw after the Spurs game Wednesday night in OKC. He’ll pat the Frenchman on the back when Diaw sits down, and say proudly “you’ve earned it.” Never stop eating Boris!
Kevin Love’s Reemergence
The White Mamba has given us bearded white folk hope with his off-the-charts play this season. After only appearing in 18 games last season, Kevin Love is stuffing the stat sheet in Minnesota with an almost nightly double-double while averaging 24.6 PPG and 13.8 RPG. Especially since the NBA seems to lose more big men than Turkey’s lose family members this holiday, it’s huge to see him healthy. Since this is Thanksgiving and our favorite pastime today is eating, lets recognize that Kevin Love’s PIE (player impact estimate) rating is 19.0 percent (second in the NBA behind LBJ). While we are all digging into some pumpkin or apple pie, Kevin Love has been digging into his opponents all season.
Love is fourth in the league in scoring and first in rebounding. Minnesota has some cold winters, but with the All-Star production from Kevin Love and his band of brothers, the temperature will be rising. Arguably the best all around player in the league, I am thankful for Kevin Love’s reemergence as the top power forward in the NBA.