There are so many things that made Tim Duncan get his nickname The Big Fundamental.
- His rebounding.
- His jumper from the elbow.
- His ability to pass the ball from the high post:
His post moves:
And well, you know, his bank shot:
But there's something he's been doing since, probably forever, and somehow it doesn't catch our eye too many times: his outlet pass.
Most of the time, this is something that doesn't mean too much during a game.
It's very simple in the paper: you get the rebound, look for the point guard, or someone else who's free, and give him the ball in order to iniciate the offense.
In those days when we played 4-down all the time, it didn't really matter.
But now we are pushing the ball, we are running, we want to catch the defense sleepy and take advantage of that (if we can). We are playing at the 6th fastest pace in the NBA.
So this simple little thing like the outlet pass becomes something very useful when you're trying to push the pace. It sounds easy: just give the ball to your teammate. But there's something special with Duncan and his outlet passes: he really makes them in order to push the pace. He doesn't just give the ball to his teammate, he doesn't in a way that allows our team to run the floor.
48minutesofhell made a nice compilation a couple of months ago, and I'll use a video to show us how Tim Duncan is using the outlet pass to our advantage:
Pretty cool, isn't it? No, it's not cool, it's not flashy (except when he makes a full court pass, THAT'S AMAZINE!!!), but you know what? It's useful, and it helps our team.
Let's see two more examples of this in last night game:
You have seen this play: Green blocks Lebron and on the other side of the court, Gary Neal connects a huge 3 pointer to close the first half up by 6.
But if you haven't noticed, this is what happened after Green's block: Tim gets the ball. We have less than 5 seconds in the clock and it would be great to have a chance to increase the lead. Tim sees Tony 10 meters ahead of him and gives him the ball, Tony then gives it to Gary and he makes the 3.
See the most important part of that play? Tim gives the ball to TP as soon as possible, and it's a great pass.
If Timmy hesitates for a second, there wouldn't have been any 3 point attempt by Gary.
Let's see another example:
Now, this one is way more funny. It's just amazing how Timmy sees KL and sends him the ball inmediatly.
Another great outlet pass.
Just one more fundamental thing that nobody cares about. Just kidding, we all love Timmy, our BIG FUN.
And we love him even more when he does things like this one:
(Remember that one? It was a month and a half ago, or something like that.)