The San Antonio Spurs are a deep team that keeps winning. When a team is winning, there's rarely anyone that's going to complain about anything, maybe playing time if there are players with egos. The Spurs are lucky to have players who put team first over self during the Tim Duncan era and this year is no different. Frenchmen Boris Diaw (playing in his first full season as a Spur) and rookie Nando De Colo are playing important roles for the San Antonio so far this year and are taking advantage of their opportunities as they discussed in an interview with BasketAmericain.com after their game against the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
After starting for a team that's been successful, there are players who make a big deal being benched. It's a relieving thought that Boris has the mindset like his Spurs teammate, Manu Ginobili. They both don't care if they start or come off the bench later during the game, as long as they contribute to the team and the team is benefiting with them on the court. Diaw mentioned Coach Popovich told him he and Tiago Splitter compliment each other nicely, which is true if you watch them on the court. With the Spurs' lack of overall big man depth on the bench, Pop was forced to start Dejuan Blair and add more strength to his bench. It's a great sight to not only see Diaw content with that, but also taking advantage of his opportunities with second string players like Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, and Tiago Splitter. Nando's statements are also encouraging.
He admits he's still learning playing in the NBA and in a unique system like the Spurs. He also states that he's improving after every game, which is great news to an already deep team. He said he also needs to be patient with a deep team, but he's been getting minutes lately so that's a plus for him and it gives him more time to improve. It's also helped that he's had countrymen Tony Parker and Boris Diaw on the team since they know each other's tendencies and how to play alongside each other. When an out-of-country player comes to the NBA, he has to adjust on his own and learn on the fly with unfamiliar teammates and coaches. De Colo's been blessed to not only have friends on his new team, but also teammates who are willing to let him shine on the court if it means winning games, even at the sacrifice of their own statistics.