Welcome to the latest edition of GIF Breakdown Pounders and guests. We'll start this one with some great defense from Danny Green.
Marc Gasol pokes the ball away from Tim Duncan and after two bounces the ball ends up in Tony Allen's hands. Allen tries to take Danny Green one-on-one in the open court, but it looks like Danny is focused and ready for the playoffs to start. Green takes a left-handed swipe at the ball as Allen gathers to attempt his shot, gets most of the ball, and gains possession as Allen falls to the floor.
In this next play we see Tim Duncan working on Gasol in the left block. Courtney Lee brings a quick double and Timmy passes out to Manu Ginobili, forcing Lee back out to the perimeter, and Gino doesn't hesitate as he re-posts Duncan. The grizzled veteran goes right into a turnaround jumper over the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, drawing contact along the way, and the ball touches nothing but the bottom of the net. Tim's right to applaud himself. That was a nice and-one.
Here we see the Spurs run Motion Strong. Cory and Boris swing the ball to the weak side before setting off-ball screens to free Ginobili. Courtney Lee doesn't work around the screens, or Conley, fast enough, which gives Gino a good look from near the top of the arc. In the words of the great Bill Schoening, that's a Manu tres.
Let's check out an alley-oop, Spurs style. Manu and Kawhi have a two-on-one opportunity with Conley defending. The Manu sends up the lob, but it's a little low and in front of Leonard so Kawhi does the smart thing. He catches the ball and readjusts midair before safely depositing the ball through the hoop with an easy layup. Patty Mills, who has frequently been executing his towel waves from a seated position lately, gets up, unholsters his towel, and gives a couple slaps in appreciation.
As the first half was coming to a close we see the wily Argentine execute a perfect two-for-one. Manu waits until almost half-court to pick up the ball before making a mad dash to the rack. Boris Diaw helps Gino by setting a great back-screen on Lee and Manu attacks Zach Randolph. With Z Bo on his heels, Gino stops in the paint, fakes to get the big man in the air, and then finishes with a turnaround one-handed righty jumper. It's perfect execution from Manu, and it left enough time on the clock for Kawhi to come down on the next Spurs possession and sink a triple to end the half.
Timmy and Danny play a nice two man game in this GIF. It starts with Duncan passing to Green from the elbow as Danny moves from the corner. From the top of the key Danny passes back to Tim at the elbow, and they fake a hand-off which Conley commits to, and Danny, looking a little like Belinelli, changes direction. Timmy passes him the ball and Green takes a dribble before doing his best Tony Parker impression. The soft floater falls through the net and the Spurs put two more on the board.
That brings us to another nice play from Tim and Danny. Green brings the ball up in transition and feeds Timmeh in the post as he cuts around Duncan along the baseline. This time there is a hand off, and Danny works his way to the other side of the rim and finishes the play with a sweet reverse layup. Quick and easy points for the good guys.
This is certainly a rarity, if not something that has never been seen from Kawhi. After Whi receives the ball in the corner he pump fakes and then brings the ball back down with his giant hand. Leonard plays it cool, takes a dribble, gets James Johnson to relax just enough, and then BAM! Kawhi jacks up a triple. KL had it going on Sunday night, and this one falls to tie his career-high 26.
We'll end this GBD with one more play from the greatest South American player the game has known. Our beloved, balding Manu curls into the lane as slowly as you'll ever see and almost effortlessly puts a runner through the iron. Manu got a night off during the OKC loss, but Gregg Popovich said that he needed to get in shape, so we got to see a rare trash-time Manu highlight as the Magician works to get his legs for the important stuff.