“Kawhi Leonard told me to be ready”

Frenchman Moussa Diabaté, who has played primarily in the G League since the start of the season, has seen his name called in the last two Clippers games by Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. An opportunity that was seized with both hands by the rookie, encouraged by a certain… Kawhi Leonard.

A few days ago, on the floor of the Blazers, we had the nice surprise of seeing Moussa Diabaté enter the game in the final seconds of the third quarter. With the various sores affecting the Clippers franchise and especially the Kawhi Leonard – Paul George duo, thethe Frenchman who was selected in the second round of the last Draft had his chance, coach Tyronn Lue decided to bring in new blood while his team was well dominated by Portland. Because of this, Moussa was so impacted that he never came out again.

With his energy, his dynamism, his presence on the rebound and his recklessness, the former Michigan man did indeed help the Clippers mount an amazing comeback to eventually win 118-112. Enough to gain the trust of his coach, who logically gave him minutes from the next game against the Jazz, in which Diabaté again ensured with 11 points and 8 rebounds (including 6 offensive) on 4/8 shooting and 3/3 on free throws . Suffice it to say that the young Frenchie was ready when needed, and in part, that may be thanks to Kawhi Leonard.

“Your turn will come young man. »

We know Kawhi doesn’t talk much, but having the best player in the franchise tell you that while you’re battling in the G League will definitely give you a boost. And today it is reflected on the NBA floors.

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Full profile of Moussa Diabaté

Playing in the 4-5 positions, Moussa Diabaté has the benefit of developing in a team that doesn’t have crazy depth in the racket behind pivot holder Ivica Zubac. Another benefit, his profile is distinctly different from Zu’s as Diabaté is more of an energizer with good athleticism, good mobility, an interesting ability to switch in defense, all while being able to cross the field with long strides. For a Clippers team that needs this kind of player, this is very positive.

It now remains to be seen if Moussa Diabaté will hold down a role off the bench with the return of Kawhi and Paul George, who could return tonight against Sacramento. With the two superstars back in the five, Terance Mann and Amir Coffey (holdovers in recent games) will return to the bench and this will give Tyronn Lue additional options in terms of rotation (especially small ball) even if it is at the position 5 doesn’t change much. According to the latest rumours, after this meeting against the Kings, Moussa can return to the G-League to really get a chance to play, even if nothing is set in stone.

Whatever happens in the end, Moussa seized the opportunity that presented itself. And so you get a place among the greats.


Source text: @joeylinn



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