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October 15, 2009

What a difference Diaw makes

A week or two after the trade that brought him to Charlotte, I called Boris Diaw a transformational player for the Bobcats.

If you were at the open practice Thursday, you saw that description still applies. Diaw -- out most of the preseason with an ankle sprain -- fully participated. And in an hour or so, Diaw threw five passes you did not see previously in the preseason.

You forget just how remarkable Diaw's hand skills are, how well he sees passing lanes through traffic in the lane. Almost immediately coach Larry Brown knew last preseason that this team's biggest problem was ball movement. Diaw was a great fix for that then and now.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 15, 2009 at 07:22 PM | Permalink

Comments

Add a defensive player of a good caliber and a forward.....the Cats will succeed. I've always indicated that if the Cats core players; Diaw, Bell, Felton, Wallace, Augustine,Chandler and perhaps Romanodvic can each make double figures in every game...this type of consistence could pay very well for the Cats this season.

Posted by: nunu20041 | Oct 15, 2009 7:39:29 PM

Diaw looked to be in mid-season form. I really think we will get a similar surprise with Chandler. Not saying he's passer Diaw is, but he is so much more fluid than any of our other options at Center at the moment.

Rick...how long is Dontell Jefferson signed for? I thought he looked really good tonight as well.

Posted by: BlockParty | Oct 15, 2009 8:18:56 PM

i would have love to go tonight, but its hard to get to charlotte from columbia and back on a weekday.
but im quite sure Diaw will only continue to improve the play of any teammates he'll have. not to mention he can stretch the floor for another defense--granted, not as much as a Rashard Lewis would, but enough to make people actually play him across the perimeter.

most of the analysis out there have us as a season or two away from the playoffs, but im convinced that thats because of the moves made by the other teams in the NBA. espicially the southeast.... which is our division.
even looking at our division as a somewhat optimistic fan, its hard to see us truly sneaking inot the 8th seed. its hard to rule out the Heat and Wizards (although i believe they wont be tremendously better) as possible wildcard candidates.
however, the big plus side to this whole mess is that the cats seem to play WAY better against contenders (coughLAKERScough) and just overall better teams.

Rick,
as the real bobcats realist on the internet, do you believe that we could sneak in at 8 behind a team like the 76ers or maybe the Heat with a 40-42 record--or would the team need to be at .500?

Posted by: reggie Gallant | Oct 15, 2009 8:32:10 PM

Diaw is the absolute key to this team. If he goes down for any significant stretch, we can forget the season.

It has worth it trading a better scorer (J-Rich) for a big man who actually had some ball skills and mobility. When the Bobcats got Diaw, they finally entered the 21st century of NBA basketball and got a perimeter 4.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Oct 15, 2009 8:41:31 PM

As great a passer as Diaw is I can't shake the feeling that the cats are at their best when he's asserting himself in the paint. He has a very underappreciated post game, good at backing guys down... he should punish them more when he's 5 feet from the rim instead of passing to an open guy on the perimeter (who probably isn't a good shooter).

Posted by: David | Oct 15, 2009 11:07:46 PM

Rick, I agree that Diaw's strength is his ability to see the floor and make passes, but as the 4-man you got to be able to finish in the lane, in traffic. That is his weakspot.

I agree with poster David that he is effective in the post, great spin moves, finger rolls, etc. And he also has good shooting range as well, problem is he is not a natural in the paint, unable to finish many times when cutting down the lane, instead looking for the "whip out" pass rather than going up strong to draw the foul.

Not to be down on the guy but could he be more efective as a 3 (not that we have another 4), or as a point forward( I know he does some) or even as a straight up PG. Magic Lite?

Just doesn't seem to fit the bill at the 4, unless he can check Garnett, Bosh, or Jamison while shooting like Rashard Lewis.

Posted by: HoopsFan | Oct 16, 2009 12:14:56 AM

how many people were there ?

Posted by: Elliot | Oct 16, 2009 12:39:29 AM

Diaw absolutely fits the bill as a 4. He has bulk and length. He frankly has a huge backside for for battling in the paint. He also has mobility. He is perfect next to Wallace and Chandler. They will grab the rebounds and make the athletic hustle plays, while Diaw will provide the smooth ball skills.

Diaw has the physical characteristics to reasonably defend a Rashard Lewis OR a post-up big. He brings unique team-oriented offensive skills. What's not to love?

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Oct 16, 2009 4:13:22 PM

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