It's time to start Bad Ass Boris Diaw. Here's why.
The are two schools of thought going into Game 3. One thought is that despite the Suns hiccups, they were close to stealing either Game 1 or Game 2 at the Alamo. The Spurs held serve, but just barely. Coming home, with the power of the Phoenix Sunshine, why tweak? Why mess with something that's so close to working?
Because the Suns are about as close to winning those games as they were every playoff series against the Spurs in the past - which is not that close at all.
Perhaps more importantly, Dan Marjerle Hustle Award Winner Grant Hill has gotten progressively worse - his reliability has dropped the re- so only the liability is left.
It's hard to trust the medical staff, the coaching staff or the player himself. They all want the smart wily player on the court. We've been desperate for Grant to fulfill that wing defender role vacated by Marion. The medical staff have been patching him up for two weeks, but it just hasn't worked out.
However, because of Boris Diaw's solid big man post defense, the Suns have overlooked the notion that our other versatile 6'8" player ought to be our best wing defender. The thinking is that Diaw is too valuable as a backup big to start him or to use his intelligence and length to slow down Parkers and Ginobilis.
It's time to reconsider that notion. If the Suns are going to get out of this round, they need to get more out of the Dirty Man. Boris may freak us out on the offensive end, but it's not like Grant has done much on that end either. Meanwhile, defensively Diaw can potentially do a lot more than Grant right now.
Doesn't 3D look like AK47 in the caption picture? Why isn't the coaching staff turning Diaw into a better midrange shooting, tougher-minded and cheaper version of the AK47? Maybe they are?
One drawback is that we would be taking our third (and last) quality big man and using him on the perimeter. Foul trouble could wreak havoc on the lineup as in game 1. However, if Diaw can play as well as I think he can against Parker or Ginobili, then there will be less penetration and less fouls picked up by Amare and Shaq. In this way, a redistribution of the defense and the Suns effectively lose nothing in terms of big men defensive capability.
Diaw can always slide over as necessary to handle rest periods for Amare and Shaq. Times at which Grant could come in off the bench and provide some energy, some Dan Majerle hustle, some change-up D on Parker late in the game. In the end, Grant may even relish and excel in a Ginobili type role coming off the bench.
Meanwhile, we start a big versatile lineup, knowing that Diaw can go Full French when he starts. It could be win-win-win for Boris, Grant and the Suns.