Sometimes it's almost effortless for the longtime duo of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and we'll begin this breakdown with a hookup from the two longest tenured teammates in the league. Tony Parker attacks the Warriors by driving into the paint, stopping, and then faking Draymond Green about four feet out of the play. Since Green is gone, Jermaine O'Neal has to step into the lane to challenge what would be Tony's shot attempt and leaves Tim all by his lonesome. Tony makes a no-sweat pass that leads to a Duncan flush. Jeff Ayres and Patty Mills are still working on their synchronized Slapper.
I love watching the classic Duncan go to work. Here he sizes up Marreese Speights, measures the shot, and hits another banker. It's a dying shot, and a lot more difficult than it looks, but Tim achieved bank-artist stature long ago and continues to use it to great effect. The Big Fundamental had it going early on and he scored 12 points in the first quarter, taking full advantage of the Bogut-less Warriors. I'm not including David Lee, who was also out, because he's David Lee.
This may not be a true Kawhi coast-to-coast joint, but it's still a lot of fun. Whi picks off Stephen Curry's pass and heads down the court with just Curry between him and the basket while Tony speeds down the middle of the floor to join the fun. Leonard hits TP with a nice bounce-pass and Tony fakes back to Whi before finishing the break with an easy layup.
In this GIF we see Klay Thompson chase Tony Parker around Kawhi Leonard as the Tony gets the ball. Klay Thompson does a fine job of staying with Parker, but Tony draws in the defense and Draymond Green makes the mistake of trying to poke the ball away from TP which frees Kawhi to go backdoor. Tony hits the cutting Whi and Leonard throws down an easy dunk.
The Warriors are a good defensive team (currently fourth in defensive efficiency,) but they were without their two best defenders on Wednesday night, okay maybe two of their three depending on where you put Klay Thompson. It doesn't really matter, because the Dubs were completely lost on this play.
Tony passes to Kawhi at the left wing and Golden State overloads the strong side. Parker moves to the right wing and the entire Warriors squad completely forgets about Manu Ginobili. Perhaps the wiliest Spur of all sees this and cuts along the baseline as Whi enters the ball to Boris Diaw at the elbow. The big Frenchman turns and finds our beloved Argentine wide open under the basket, and Gino eschews the dunk attempt and goes with a reasonable, and just as effective, layup. Thanks Manu!
We've done it a lot this season, but let's check out the good guys in transition one more time.
After Tiago Splitter makes a nice defensive play the Spurs gain possession and Marco Belinelli pushes the ball to halfcourt before sending the ball to The Manu. The OG Manu takes one dribble as MIT, who couldn't have possibly been a better fit for this squad, hits another gear on the way to the rack. Gino hits Beli with one of his perfectly placed stop-and-sling-bounce-passes and Marco has no problem getting this easy one to go. The Spurs sure did get a bunch of easy points in this contest.
I am totally in love with Belinelli's ability to make a cut at just the right moment. His feel for the game is absolutely incredible and playing with a group of guys that share the ball and have a sense of timing has turned him into quite the weapon, and not just because he can shoot. There are few guys in the league that have the basketball IQ that Boris has and after he gets the ball from Kawhi he turns and finds Marco a step from a layup. Bobo, who you've probably noticed making routine beauty happen with his passing, makes a nonchalant pass to Rocky and it's another easy two for the good guys. This is probably my favorite play from the game. It's elegant in that it's so simple. Not much motion and no nice ball movement in this one. It's just fantastic timing and chemistry. Stunning.
Kawhi and Tony are quite the team in transition. This one sees TP pushing down the middle of the court as Kawhi runs the sideline. The Dubs forget about the left flank and Whi and Tony make them pay as they connect and Whi gets the hoop-and-harm. Golden State didn't have any quit in them and made a couple of runs to keep this one interesting, but the Spurs got so many easy points with their team play that this was just another pretty easy win for them.
Here's a play that no doubt made all of the highlight reels. As the first half was coming to a close Leonard launched a triple, which missed, but that wasn't the end of the half. It almost was, but good ol' Ginobili swoops in from behind the arc to grab the carom and he gets the put-back to go as the buzzer sounds. Numero Viente!
Boris Diaw only contributed eight points, but he played a solid all-around game against the Warriors. Here we see him pump fake from near the top of the arc and blow past Green. Draymond was on the wrong end of several highlights in the game. With Green out of the play Diaw needs just a couple dribbles as he makes a strong move to the rack. Speights contests the shot, but the highly-skilled Boris uses the glass and gets the bucket to go for the Spurs. The Spurs have so many guys that can bring the hurt to the opposition, and we'll have to see what guys like Boris, Marco, and Patty can bring in the second season, but the Foreign Legion is definitely going to force the hand of the other guys. There will be no break from San Antonio while the big guns cool down and reload.
Let's watch one more from Parker. It seems that the proverbial "switch" has been flipped for The Wee Frenchman, and he's been destroying people in the lane for the past two games.
Here Manu drives from the left side as Parker works out of the corner to give Manu an outlet. Gino gives up the rock and TP moves into the lane before spinning away from Curry and toward the basket. The move is effective and Parker gently puts the ball off of the glass and through the net.
Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with a rare defensive play. The Spurs' defense is the best it's been in many years and Danny Green is a big part of that. Sure, Kawhi makes a highlight defensive play just about every game, but Green is always doing his part of the dirty work. He's known as a three point shooter, and he can get as hot as just about anyone in the game, but he's a heck of a stopper. Here we see him put the kibosh on a Curry iso. V3RD3 is all over Stephen in this one, sticking with the dangerous scorer through every move. In the end, Steph is forced to jack up the least efficient shot in the game, an exceptionally long two, and he misses badly.