GIF Breakdown: Spurs vs. Blazers

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs won their eighth game in a row on Wednesday night as they beat Portland convincingly. Here are several plays from the win that deserve some extra looks.

The Spurs won the opening tip and everything started as usual with a Tim Duncan/Tony Parker pick-and-roll. Robin Lopez does a good job of not allowing that going-left-jumper that Tony likes and then he takes away the passing lane to Timmy. Nicolas Batum takes a step toward Tony and Parker sends the ball to Kawhi Leonard in the corner. Batum recovers enough to take away the corner-three, but Whi drives baseline and is already in the air on his way to a dunk before Lopez, who was preoccupied by the GOATPUFF, can help.

Whi_baseline

Here we see Tiago Splitter doing his best Kawhi impression. Sparkles reads the pass from LaMarcus Aldridge to Wes Matthews perfectly and pokes the ball into the backcourt where he gathers the ball and takes two dribbles on the way to an emphatic breakaway dunk. I could be wrong, but I don't think Tiago has ever done that in an NBA game. He's 5-for-5 from 18+ feet this year and now he's stealing the ball, blocking shots, and looking better than he ever has.

Tiago_steal_and_slam

LaMarcus Aldridge hit a crazy shot in the second quarter on Wednesday night. Tim plays him well, getting a piece of the ball as Aldridge starts his move, and then trapping him along the baseline with nowhere to go. No big deal for LaMarcus, who spins and knocks down a contested 15-footer over the backboard as he's falling out of bounds.

Crazy_la_shot

This play starts with Timmy getting the ball to Manu Ginobili at the opposite wing with a little help from Boris Diaw. Kawhi sets a back-screen on Lopez for Tim, and as soon as Lopez takes his eyes off of Tim for a second the veteran big man cuts to the hoop where Manu finds him for an easy two points. Absolutely great stuff.

Tim_cut

Kawhi has been working in the post more lately, and he's pretty darn good at it. As he's backing down Damian Lillard, Bobo sneaks through the lane and Leonard gives the rock to the big Frenchman. Meyers Leonard steps up to challenge Diaw, but that leaves Splitter open, and point-foward Boris makes the tough pass to Tiago. Splitter gets the shot up just quick enough to keep Leonard from blocking it. The Spurs are playing good basketball right now and the three Spurs involved in this play are a huge part of it. Good work team!

Diaw_to_splitter

Speaking of good, our man Kawhi has been on a tear since returning from his broken hand. Working from the wing we see the young man use a small pump-fake to move Wes Matthews enough for Whi to drive left into the lane. Lopez slides into the restricted area to keep Leonard from just dunking the ball, but it's not enough as Kawhi knocks down a terrific teardrop over the seven-footer.

Whi_be_good

Marco Belinelli has been in a shooting slump the past six games, converting 37% of his field goals and just 21% of his threes in that stretch. His outside shot might be off, but his incredible ability to finish is still with him. In this play The Spicy One passes to Danny Green near the elbow before using a Tiago screen to get free and move through the lane. Danny shows great patience and good timing as he hits Marco in stride with a great bounce-pass under Lillard's arm. Robin Lopez, who was involved in just about every play in this GIFBD, picks Beli up late and fouls the Italian, but not hard enough that Marco can't use some of his magic to get a tough layup to go for the and-one. That's a good win for the good guys.

Beli

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