The Spurs scored their first two points of the game when Tim Duncan found the sneaky Marco Belinelli under the basket for a not so easy layup. Marco uses an off-ball screen from Ayres to lose Thabo Sefolosha with a quick direction change. MIT (Manu in Training) goes backdoor and the great Timmeh finds him with a pass before Serge Ibaka figures out what is going on.
Here we see the OG Manu motion to MIT, and the best cutter on the team does it again. He fakes out the terrible Derek Fisher, who is taken out of the play as he has to go around Boris Diaw. Again, Ibaka has no idea what is going on until it is too late. Manu and Marco have won before Gino sends a 75% speed pass to the Spicy One. Easy two. That was fun.
Here we have the Foreign Legion, Bili MiNelli, the bench, or whatever you want to call them sharing the basketball. This unit doesn't struggle to score the basketball. We see Manu use Ayres to shake Jeremy Lamb and then probe the defense once Jeff gives him the ball. But the baseline is cut off, so Gino makes a nifty little backwards flip to Boris Diaw, who finds an open Mills, then Patty gives it to Beli, who attacks and draws Fisher off of Mills. That's five passes and everyone touched the ball before Mills adds three to the scoreboard. The player movement on this play is fun to watch. It's high on the list of plays I would love to see with SportsVu's player tracking.
Manu Ginobili played great D on Kevin Durant at the end of the second quarter. Here are two GIFs of the Argentine looking like a less handsy Bruce Bowen. With a combination of excellent footwork, superb body control, and his guile, Gino frustrated KD, gave him nothing, and finally caused Durant to travel. That's as good as it gets against MVP front-runner KD. Wow!
Tony Parker was outstanding last night. He dropped a game-high 37 points on 22 shots and showed that he is still one of the best point guards on the planet. Tony is pacing himself this year as he has a ton of minutes under his belt. Not including his playoff minutes or his international play, his 29,887 regular season minutes are more than Sam Cassell, Rip Hamilton, Marcus Camby, and Dennis Rodman played. He will pass James Worthy and Kevin McHale by the end of the month and Chris Webber by the end of the season. In TP's last six games he is averaging 23 ppg on 57% shooting, 7 assists, and almost six free-throws made per-game at a 92% conversion rate. His previous production over the season: 17.5ppg on 50% shooting, 6 assists, and three free-throws per-game at 77%.
Here's Tony going around a Duncan screen before he dribbles it off of Kendrick Perkins' foot. Parker grabs the loose ball, takes one dribble and knocks down his floater over rim-protection specialist Ibaka. Tony was feeling it last night.
Here's my man Boris using a pump fake to get just enough time and space to take a two-dribble drive through the lane and get the shot off before Ibaka can
goaltend block the attempt.
Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with one more sweet play from Parker. A 25-foot drive, a spin move, and Jackson plays good defense, but TP is just too good. It looks so easy, effortless even.