GIF Breakdown: Spurs at Kings

You've probably heard if you didn't see the game; The Spurs got an ugly win in Sacramento on Friday night. It was ugly, but it was the 12th-straight for the Spurs, who continue to lead the league with their 52-16 record. Let's check out some plays from Friday night that stood out, but probably didn't make it onto Sportscenter.

Let's start this with a bucket from Kawhi Leonard. This play starts with the Spurs in transition. Danny Green pushes the ball to Kawhi almost at the baseline. The young man shows nice patience as he waits for Tiago to cut through the lane. Whi follows the big man and is met by Reggie Evans. Sorry Reggie, my man Kawhi has it going on from mid-range. The Cornrowed One knocks down a tough-looking, fade-away 12-footer. I'm thinking that the Spurs' oppenents will be treated to heavy doses of that shot in the coming years.2_whi_patience

You've probably encountered the stat where if Tiago Splitter scores in double-figures the Spurs win. You might have seen it on Pounding the Rock, or Twitter, or a Spurs broadcast. Yeah, it's gotten some coverage.

Here we see the Spurs in transition. Tiago runs the floor and is rewarded for his effort by Tony Parker, who hits the big man with an accurate dish as he's sprinting . Number Eight is Rudy Gay who, as a rim protector, is allowing opposing players to score 55% of the time. To be fair, a rim protector he is not. So, it should come as no surprise that Tiago doesn't put the ball on the floor and finishes with a nice dunk. This is not one of those cute layups he likes so much. Tiago has been really good for the team lately, and it's good to see him finish strong. More of this Tiago, I've seen your shot chart.

1_tiago_running_floor_Here's another play that features Tiago. Tim and Tony run a pick-and-pop and as three Kings rush to challenge Tim, he eschews the pop for a quick pass to Tiago who is open under the basket. Reggie Evans scrambles back to challenge Sparkles, but Splitter has great position and knows just what to do. He makes a dribble into the paint to get Evans on his back, spins back toward the baseline, sells an excellent pump-fake, goes up and scores. And-one for 22.

3_tiago_from_tim

Though we normally highlight amazing team play, this drive by Tony showcases his individual excellence.

In this next GIF Tony curls around Reggie Evans after the big man shows hard off of a Timmy screen. Evans races back to stop the rolling Tim as Tony attacks Thomas. Isaiah flops really hard as Tony drives, which leaves Parker completely open as he knocks down a 14-footer. The ball has just about found the bottom of the net as Thomas is knocked back to the ground by a vicious Splitter forearm. I'm not sure it would have helped had Thomas stayed on his feet, but I do know that it's almost impossible to get a defensive stop from the ground. He must have seen a 1933 St. Gaudens Double Eagle on the floor. Maybe a third trip to the ground would have helped him recover his prize,

4_tony

Some people have been asking for more defensive plays. Generally, good defensive plays last a long time. This makes them less desirable to GIF.. But we'll try to bring you more plays from the Spurs on D. On Friday night Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker teamed up to force a turnover.

Rookie Ray McCallum and veteran Rudy Gay run a pick-and-fail here. Kawhi sticks to Gay hard after the screen and forces McCallum to try a difficult entry-pass to Rudy. Those long arms force a bad pass that wasn't even close to working. It's the little things. That's where the Spurs excel. You're going to need something stronger than this pass against this squad. Unless you're one of the tanking teams.

5_defense

Hey, it's another Duncan to Splitter assist. This is becoming so commonplace in games that Pop might want to start hiding this interaction from opposing scouts. Six assists for TIm, and double-figure scoring for the Brazilian. That's not fair. The Spurs are completely unstoppable when that is happening. On Friday night the Spurs won by 20. Shooting less than 39%. Of course.

We see Splitter set a screen for Whi, who finds nothing and passes out to the legend, the GOAT PUFF, Timothy Theodore Duncan. With DeMarcus Cousins providing extra help on Whi, Tiago slips free under the basket and Timmy hits him with a touch-pass under the rim. Cousins, the young, athletic man recovers, but our tall, fair-skinned South American does a little dance, shakes Boogie with a nice spin-move and finishes with one of those reverse layups he loves so much. To be honest, he actually needed his moves to finish this one. That's an absurd layup that Tiago gets to go. Really. Find a court and try that shot.

6_spltter_from_td

This is a strange play, in a strange game, and it shows the Spurs start the play before Tony Parker gets the ball for the inbounds. The ref comes out to sort something out, but the good guys are still running their play. It's a hell of a mess and I'm not sure what is going on, but if you had Manu feeding Duncan halfway from the free-throw line and the hoop you win everything. Timmy had a pretty awful night shooting the ball, and this attempt does not fall. Luckily Splitter is there to tap the ball in after he muscles Travis Outlaw out of the way. So...good?

7_play_long

Let's watch The Wee Frenchman score a couple in this play. He uses two screens, from Tiago and Timmy, to shake Isaiah Thomas (who's name has an interesting story if you haven't heard it.) Then with speed and general TPness, our poing guard gets to the basket and puts a little French on a layup high off the glass.

Tony_high_off_the_glass

Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with a score from The Spicy One. Marco Belinelli scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter -- man, the guys on the bench sure can score in bunches. This play starts with Marco receiving a hand-off from Matt Bonner. Tim and Bonner set screens to eliminate Travis Outlaw. It's now Marco and Jason Thompson at the top of the arc, and the Italian makes a wide loop to the basket, beating Thompson to the rack, and then finishing with a nice layup that bounces on the iron a couple of times before dropping.

Marco

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