Tiago Splitter has been playing pretty well lately, and it's been Tim Duncan that has been finding the Brazilian early in the game. With no Tim tonight, Tiago was going to need help from other players. In this play we see Danny Green connect with Tiago as he drives to the lane. A no-look bounce-pass sets up Tiago to score pretty easily. It helps that David Lee isn't exactly a good defender. He's late to bring help with the threat of Boris Diaw from deep keeping Lee in no mans land. This almost looks like a Manu to Tim play.
Kawhi Leonard has been working in the post more and more lately. He's been very effective, scoring 1.25 points per possession on his post-ups. That's only good for 1st in the league. Super Bruce has been using his fade-away jumper to success, and it's a shot that is just about unguardable. 6' 8" Harrison Barnes plays Whi tight, bites on a fake, is able to recover and challenge the shot, but Leonard knocks it down anyway. Great stuff from Whi, who continues to add to his game, making him more dangerous by the minute.
This is a nice French Connection, and the flow of the play is fun to watch. Tony Parker weaves his way into the right block, but is met by Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson. Meanwhile Aron Baynes rolls to the hoop after setting a pick for TP and Diaw follows right behind him. The Wee Frenchman delivers a nice pass to Bobo and the Big Frenchman beat Bogut to the glass for an easy bucket.
Sometimes Tony Parker does something that reminds you that he's one of the best basketball players on the planet. He makes this play look easy. As Tony is bringing the ball into the halfcourt and Steve Blake steps in front of a Diaw screen. Tony took that as an invitation to attack the hoop. Tony crosses over Blake,then it's a killer spin-move to get by Draymond Green. Jermaine O'Neal and Klay Thompson are each a step too slow to help stop Baguette Parker, who made perhaps his simplest layup of the game.
Check out Tiago go to work in the post. He takes two dribbles to get position in the lane, spins and fakes to get Draymond Green in the air and out of his way, and then has the awareness to alter his shot midair as Harrison Barnes comes to challenge the shot from the free throw line. Tiago is balling right now.
According to mySynergySports.com this is Marco Belinelli's second post-up of the season. He's now 2-for-2. This are the first two of the eight points he scored for the Spurs in the last 2:30 of the third quarter. That's Klay Thompson, who Mark Jackson just called the best two-way shooting guard in the league, defending Marco. Beli takes his time and takes a couple of dribbles before a little Dream Shake comes out. Nice move from the Italian and it gives him the space he needs to line up a fall-away jumper and knock it down.
Let's look at two nice plays from Austin Daye. The first one is a block of a Draymond Green jumper in transition. Daye sure is long.
The second came a couple of possessions later. Daye makes a well-timed cut and Marco hits him with a nice pass. Daye stops on a dime and makes a great pass around Jermaine O'Neal to Jeff Ayres, who miraculously handles the pass and finishes with nice patience and a little layup. Daye played four minutes in the contest, and he certainly didn't look bad.
Tony Parker recently said Kawhi Leonard needs to be a Super Bruce Bowen on defense, but it's clear that the young stud has already powered up on the other end of the floor to the point where comparing Whi to the legendary defensive ace isn't apt. Check him out here as he passes to Tiago and then uses the big man as a screen to get free and into the paint. Harrison Barnes fights hard to get through Splitter and Bogut and it's too late when he gets past them as Whi is already shooting. Barnes seems deflated as the ball falls through the net.
Here we see Danny Green make an excellent defensive play. The Warriors had cut the San Antonio lead to seven with a little over three minutes in the game and if Danny didn't get the block on this play it would have been a two-possession game. Danny lets Curry go right knowing he has a great rim protector in Tiago behind him. Tiago steps up and forces Curry to pass the ball to O'Neal deep in the paint. Then it's Danny's turn to help. He swoops in from behind and is all over the ball, wrestling it from Jermaine. Fun stuff!
Following Danny's block, Tony just about put the game away with this display of awesomeness. The hesitation, the quickness, that devastating spin, the brillian fake that gets two defenders to bite, then going under and finishing without touching iron. It all adds up to an exhibit of a mastery of skills from the long time Spurs point guard. This team is so good.