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GAME 37/82: Vs. Phoenix, Open Game Thread

I've written somewhere around 4,000 words on the Warriors, Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia and Vlade Divac (you'll see tomorrow morning) today. Sorry, I'm not going to spend another 800 on Boris F. Diaw.

(Well, hopefullly.)

Boris F. Diaw's emergence is one of two things: an absolute vindication of Steve Nash's MVP award last season or proof that Jerry Colangelo is absolutely the most underrated GM in America. I mean, holy crap. This guy put up 4.8 points per game on the Atlanta Freaking Hawks last season. He's getting 12.1 per on the Phoenix Suns this year (a team so deep, that nary a Frenchman not named Wee Little Tony Parker should be cracking the rotation). He has the best +/- on the squad (three times better than the MVP), he's shooting above 50% despite almost half his attempts being jumpers, and he's a damn silly rebounder for a small forward (defensive rebound percentage of 13.7). And he's already scored a full feature from Kevin Pelton. What more could a guy want?

Diaw's emergence is mind-blowing, really. He's like Shawn Marion Lite. He's like a consistent (and French) Kevin Martin. We need a kid like this.

Also mind-blowing? The emergence of the French caucus of the NBA. What the hell? We've got a legitmate second-team All-NBA point guard in Parker, a most improved player candidate in BFD, and a future All-Star in Mikey Pietrus. Is France the new Serbia? I thought Argentina was the next hotbed of NBA talent? This is crazy - the French producing actual athletes good at actual sports. My WWII-vet grandfather (God rest his soul) would not be happy.

I won't stand for it, particularly after Boris almost threw a triple-double on the board when Sactown visited Arizona early in the season. I want lots of French jokes from Grant and Jerry, some "Where's Natasha?" signs in the crowd and a good old American (or Dominican) beatdown on BFD. In fact, I demand it.

To the very pro-America lineups!

PG - Baron Davis' Father, only white and hippie-like.
SG - Raja "Steal of the Offseason, Besides Shareef Abdur-Rahim" Bell
PF - Shawn "My Favorite Non-Sacramento, Non-Dikembe, Non-Luol Deng Player in the NBA" Marion
C  - Kurt "Can We Play Halfcourt For a Couple Minutes, Guys?" Thomas

PG - Mike "Hey, This Season Isn't All Lost - I Got a Career High Baby!" Bibby
SG - Kevin "I Hear Ya, Mike - And I Got Three of Them!" Martin
SF - Francisco "Do Career Highs in Minutes Count?" Garcia
PF - Kenny "You're Dumb, Rookie" Thomas
C  - Brad "I Want to Get a Career High in Fouls Tonight; I'm Going to Pound That Canadian" Miller.

The line: +8.5. Sacramento has owned Phoenix recently. `Recently' meaning the one previous matchup this season and the last game of last season, which was essentially meaningless. So yeah. I'd take the points.

Fun bet o' the night: Will Grant Napear take a jab at Nash's MVP reign? I say yes, at -150.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: The ARCO fans. Y'all better be getting revved up for the Thursday game. I am. Foreign villains like Nash and Diaw will be a good warm-up for true enemies like Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. Stretch those cowbells and vocal chords.

Best matchup: Clearly, it's no-defense-all-offense Steve Nash vs. no-defense-all-offense Mike Bibby. The difference is that the MVP gets his teammates involved. Well, that's unfair to Mike. He does ask his teammates to set screens for him.

Let's do it, y'all. MARTIN! DIAW! GARCIA! BELL!It's the NBA on News10! Feel the roar!