Wednesday, October 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

It’s the role players who have the Spurs rolling

By
From page B1 | June 15, 2014 |

SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker is still thankful for the role players who helped carry San Antonio to its last NBA title in 2007.

There was Robert Horry, a seven-time champion and official finals good-luck charm if there ever was one. Michael Finley, who was hitting 3-pointers at a much better rate in those playoffs than he did in the regular season that year. Fabricio Oberto, who probably never had a play called for him but found ways to get things done.

The Spurs had a ‘Big 3′ then, the same one that they have now.

But three is rarely enough, and that’s been proven once again in these NBA Finals.

Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw have been exactly what San Antonio needed in this matchup against the Miami Heat, and might be the two biggest reasons why the Spurs are one win away from their fifth NBA championship. The Spurs lead these finals 3-1, and will look to end Miami’s reign in Game 5 at home on Sunday night.

“If you want to win championships, obviously you need a ‘Big 3,’” Parker said. “But you need your role players to play great too. And every time we won championships in the past, the ‘Big 3,’ we played great, but we had great role players. … If you want to go all the way, you need the whole team to play great.”

That’s what the Spurs are getting.

Parker is leading the Spurs in scoring, Tim Duncan is leading in rebounding and the Western Conference champions are outscoring Miami by 62 points so far with Manu Ginobili on the floor — so yes, the ‘Big 3′ is doing its part.

But when the Spurs took control of the series by winning Games 3 and 4 in Miami, Leonard led the charge by averaging 24.5 points on 68 percent shooting. And Diaw has 23 assists so far in the series, more than anyone else and none probably better than his behind-the-back offering out of the post that set Tiago Splitter up for a dunk in Game 4.

There’s already talk that Leonard could be in line to win MVP of the finals. In an absolutely not-shocking development, he wanted no part of that talk.

“It feels the same for me as any game going into it,” Leonard said of the anticipation level for Game 5. “All I’m thinking about is playing. I’m not worried about what if we win or lose, and we just want to go out and play.”

Such is the Spurs’ way.

The makeup of a player who perfectly fits into the San Antonio system has remained unchanged for the better part of two decades. He values team play over any individual accolade. He never says too much, particularly about himself. He stays in the moment, avoiding the urge to look ahead or behind.

Leonard and Diaw meet all those characteristics.

“San Antonio is playing great,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re moving the basketball. They’re exploiting where we’re normally good, so we have to do a better job. Even when we’ve made adjustments, they’ve still been able to stay in a rhythm and a flow.”

It’s hard to remember now that Diaw couldn’t get minutes with the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats — a team that finished with the worst record in NBA history — in part because then-coach Paul Silas was frustrated with Diaw’s penchant for passing the ball instead of taking shots at times.

So the Bobcats waived him late that season. The Spurs picked him up and in Game 4 of these finals, Diaw had more assists (nine) than shots (six).

Go figure.

“He really has a high basketball IQ,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Diaw. “I think he raises the level for everyone. At the defensive end, he’s pretty heady, not the quickest guy in the world, but really smart. Does his work early and understands what’s going on. At the offensive end, he can score inside and out, and he passes the ball really well. He’s a consummate team sort of guy.”

Diaw is just the third player to have a game with at least nine rebounds and nine assists during these playoffs, with Oklahoma City stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook being the others.

For his part, Diaw said he’s never cared about scoring. If the team scores, that’s good enough for him.

“It’s just moving the ball, playing with everybody,” Diaw said. “There is nobody really just watching. Everybody’s involved, and everybody gets the ball at some point. So it’s been good.”

Good, indeed.

One more win, and these Spurs officially become great.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Middle school students put school candidates on the hot seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun City candidates get lively in 2nd council forum

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano focuses on rail safety

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
 
Booz and Brewz benefit for the Blue Star Moms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Blessing of the animals slated Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Travis airman killed in motorcycle accident

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Salvation Army gears up for annual Red Kettle campaign

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Theaters primed for bevy of new movies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

Suisun City police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

American Legion seeks Korean War veterans for award

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Third Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes is Sunday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

4-H Achievement Night honors county members

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

 
Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

$26,227 payment to maintenance man challenged

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A10

 
FBI announces reward for Vacaville bank robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Forest areas reopen after huge fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Mayor of suburban Los Angeles city killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Crash, suspicious device lead to 101 closure in LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Gov. Brown governor vetoes ethics bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 3 Comments

 
Police on manhunt find pipe bombs in woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

Bay Area looks to expand overnight transit options

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 6 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

A speedy, kitchen sink approach to pumpkin bread

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

 
The flavor of fall – pumpkin pie in a cinnamon bun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Morgan: ‘Can’t believe’ Walmart blaming him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local report: Rodriguez volleyball team downs Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Pirates’ Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach after firing Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NC State coach apologizes for fake injury remarks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL has laundry list of verboten celebrations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Government: NFL TV ‘blackout’ rule unsportsmanlike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gravely injured Giants fan sues Dodgers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Ex 49ers RB James agrees to terms with Dolphins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FCC will consider petition to ban ‘Redskins’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Training camp essential for NBA’s new head coaches like Warriors’ Kerr

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No. 14 Stanford trying to jolt stagnant offense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Wilhoite filling the injury void at linebacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Could a merger follow the PayPal-eBay split?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
David Earl Butenhoff-Forristall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Marte Abad Lubag

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Clara May Clift Triplett

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2014

Breast cancer in younger women

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA2

Talking with your doctor

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA3

Breast cancer myths

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA4

Diet linked to cancer

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA9

Giving emotional support

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA10

After the treatment

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA12

Join the fight: Get involved

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA15