As of Thursday, Spurs forward Boris Diaw had not registered a single block in 364 postseason minutes. Only one other player (Chris Paul) had gone blockless while playing so much, and no other big to log that many minutes had blocked fewer than seven shots. Then, late in the second quarter of Game 5, Diaw finally broke through by improbably rising to get the best of Kevin Durant -- athletic standout and the 2014 Most Valuable Player.
Durant shed Kawhi Leonard by working around a hard screen from Kendrick Perkins, easily wheeled past Tim Duncan at the free throw line and, for a moment, appeared primed to offer his companion piece to Russell Westbrook's earth-quaking jam from the first quarter. Instead Durant was met by Diaw at the rim -- as improbable an airborne encounter as you're likely to find in the NBA given the discrepancy in vertical leap involved. To say that Diaw rejected Durant would be a definitional stretch, though he did make contact with the ball enough to prevent a potential dunk. Is it fair to say he hindered Durant? That Diaw impeded the dunk? That he curbed the attempt or checked it or politely contradicted it? No matter the rhetoric, Diaw's running box score now has a single, notable entry in a category that was once empty. Give Diaw this: He may not be a consistent defensive presence by any means, but the man knows how to pick his spots.