GIF Breakdown: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Western Conference Finals Game 2

Ronald Martinez

The Spurs sure can pass the ball.

We'll begin with the third and fourth points that the Spurs scored, and it's Tony Parker and Tim Duncan that start the action with a pick-and-roll out of transition. Tony comes off the pick and finds Nick Collison impeding his progress, so the Frenchman makes a slick pass over his head to Tiago Splitter who has great position under the basket. Kendrick Perkins leaves Tim Duncan to take away the easy layup for Splitter, but the big Brazilian makes one of his great passes, this one around Perkins and into the waiting hands of the now open Tim. Duncan finishes the sequence with a one-hand jam. San Antonio is tough when they play smart and quickly, and this play took just seven seconds. h/t to Mike D.

1_passing

1_passing

The Spurs run a simple curl around a couple of picks to get Parker the ball out of an inbounds. Nick Collison probably should have remembered that Tiago isn't much of a threat to shoot, but instead he gets pulled out a couple of steps as Splitter steps out to screen Thabo Sefolosha. That's when Collison was beat, and Tony Parker, seemingly effortlessly, takes a dribble after receiving the inbound, then a couple of steps and gets to the other side of the rim where he easily gets the layup to drop.

2_tony

So we know that the Spurs can pass, but the Thunder haven't shown much ability to move the ball around during the first two games of the series. Here's a nice sequence from them with Kevin Durant driving and kicking out to the three point line starting a series of four passes that lead to an easy dunk for Steven Adams.

3_okc_thunder

I was trying to make an all-passing GIF Breakdown, but Tony Parker made a couple of plays individually that were too good to leave out. Here we see Tony lose Russell Westbrook on Timmy, and then Nick Collison shows above the three-point line, but that's completely ineffective at preventing the dribble penetration from Tony. Once Tony turns the corner on Collison he uses a little misdirection and that spin-move to abuse the inexperienced Perry Jones and create a clean look at the rim.

5_tp_solo

You've probably seen this one by now, but I'm including it anyway because it's fantastic. It may be the longest pass the Spurs have executed on a hammer. The Spurs ran a variation of it against Portland with Boris making the baseline pass out of the post to Patty Mills. This is a great pass from Manu Ginobili, a big hammer from Timmy to free Danny, and a pure stroke from Danny. Beautiful stuff.

5_manu_hammer

This is just a little pick and roll from the two Frenchman. Boris Diaw is fed the ball with a bounce pass from Tony, and the Big Frenchman has no problem getting a reverse layup to go. Simple, but effective.

6_bbo

Here's Tony Parker sucking in the defense and finding the hot-shooting Danny Green in the corner. Durant is caught bringing help and ball watching in no man's land instead of making sure that Verde doesn't get an open look.

"Wake up"  taps temples with index fingers

7_passing

Here's the other Tony Parker play. He steals the inbound, races down the court and then plays a quick two-man game with Tiago. Splitter is such a great passer. His timing and accuracy are incredible for a guy his size. The give-and-go works perfectly with Splitter hitting Tony with a beauty and Parker converting one of the easier layups he gets.

8_tony_steal

This is the last one we'll look at. It's another great pass from Tiago. Danny dribbles out of the corner, but Durant doesn't give him any space so Green gives it up to Tiago at the top of the key. Tim Duncan cuts, and Splitter even makes it look easy as he places the ball in just about the ideal place - keeping it out of Jackson's reach and in a place that Tim can finish quickly without having to bring the ball down. How good has Tiago been this postseason?

9_ts_td

That's it for this edition of GIF Breakdown, Pounders. Hopefully we'll be back for a Monday edition that celebrates the Spurs taking a 3-0 series lead. Until then, This team is so easy to root for.

6

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