GIF Breakdown Game 5: Trail Blazers @ Spurs

I think it's safe to say that the Blazers have quite a ways to go before they are ready to play with the big boys. San Antonio outscored the Blazers by 67 over the five games of the series, and by 22 in the closeout game. Let's look at some of the plays that helped the Good Guys get back to the Conference Finals for the third consecutive time.

Every game this series was won by the team that scored first. Here's Tony Parker dishing to Tiago Splitter, who encounters resistance in the lane but finds Tim Duncan in the right block for an easy bucket. Tiago Splitter is really an underrated passer, and when you combine that with his incredible feel as a roll-man, it makes for a scary combination for the opposition.

1_tim_score_first

In this play we see Kawhi Leonard lose control of the ball, but he grabs it as it rolls on the ground with those big hands, kind of the way we'd grab a rolling softball. With the ball securely back in Sugar K Leonard's possession, the young man attacks, curls around Tim, and gets a really tough layup to go while being contested by Robin Lopez. Kawhi had quite the game, finishing with 22 points, seven boards, and five steals.

2_whi_picks_it_up

Watch the big Frenchman, Boris Diaw, push the ball up the court and then defer to Manu Ginobili. Manu immediately drives to the paint, but decides not to press the issue against Lopez, instead making a great pass back to Diaw who has no problem getting two for the Good Guys.

3_bobo

Kawhi had a couple of steals that he took the other way for dunks in this game. He's not the only Spur that is capable of that feat. Well, I guess Patty Mills doesn't finish with a dunk, but he successfully converts a layup, and well, points is points. Great game from the little Aussie.

4

Back when Boris Diaw played for the Hawks early in his career he was a point guard. He might now be firmly in the point forward category, but he has great court awareness and is an absolutely great passer. Here we see him push the ball up the floor as Danny Green flanks his left. Bobo makes a slick pass to Danny who then swishes the pull-up triple.

5_mills

The Spurs really punished the Blazers with steals followed by scores in transition. In this GIF we see Whi get a piece of the ball as LaMarcus Aldridge is going to work in the post. Danny Green plucks the ball out of the air, takes it just outside of the three-point line and then sends it to Kawhi, who is wide open because Damian Lillard turns his back on the play assuming that Leonard is going to continue to the hoop, and the young stud indifferently drains the trey. That's cold blooded and well executed.

6_whi

Check out Manu secure a rebound and then find a streaking Tiago Splitter with a sweet outlet pass. Before the series started some fans of the Blazers called Tiago a lumbering big man. Who's lumbering now? I've said it before, but if Manu were a quarterback he'd throw 50 touchdowns and 30 interceptions a season. Luckily, this is the touchdown type pass, and Splitter doesn't even have to put the ball on the floor before he throws it down. It's always nice to see Good Manu, no matter how brief. Hopefully the guaranteed four days of rest will do our beloved Argentine some good.

7_manu_outlet

Manu certainly hasn't found his shooting touch, and he just seems tired right now. He's still able to make a play here and there, and here we see him play for the two-for-one as he blitzes off of a Splitter screen and has enough patience to let Aldridge make his move and then finish with a lefty banker from the right side of the rim. Get that rest Manu! We're going to need you.

8_manu

Tony Parker was like, "My leg hurts," and then Patty Mills was all like, "Hey, no problem, mate, I've got this." Patty Mills Shot Count for the game: 17.

9_patty

"Well, if you're not even going to try to stop me, I don't mind if I do." Timmy with the uncontested score off of an offensive rebound. Yes Tim, that's a fine hand.

10_tim

Well, even with the game in hand the Spurs kept on punishing the Blazers with steals and scores. Manu sneaks in to take the ball away from Robin Lopez and then gets it to Splitter, who takes just a dribble before pushing it to Kawhi waiting near half-court. I sped the clip up from Tiago getting the ball to Kawhi at the three-point boundary, but Kawhi nonchalantly pauses at the line before taking it right at Nicolas Batum, who will probably think twice before jacking up a three in garbage time to give him a triple double in the regular season. It seemed to displease the GOATPUFF. Timmy clears room for Whi to convert an easy score. Never forget.

12

Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with a collaborative effort for a steal and score. Leonard gets a piece of Batum's pass and Patty Mills makes his way to the right place at the right time to pick up the ball and take it all the way back for, well, two points. Ladies and gentlemen, Patty Thirlls.

13_whi_patty

Before you start asking where the Kawhi Leonard steals and dunks are, let me point you in the direction of an entire piece dedicated to them. If I missed another of your favorite plays, just know that I made 100 GIFs this series. Not only do the Spurs need a little rest, so do I. We'll be back with more GIFs on Tuesday morning at the earliest and possibly not until Thursday -- hopefully after the Spurs take a 1-0 lead over whoever they face in the WCF. Until then, Pounders, This team is so easy to root for.

Bonus GIF:

Because what kind of person would you be if you didn't enjoy watching the grey beard smile? Probably a bad one.

Tim_smiles

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