Let's start this one off with the first score of the game. Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker force a Philly turnover and the ball pops out to Danny Green. Whi breaks for the basket with two Sixers trailing him and Danny hits him with an excellent pass that leads to a flush.
Manu Ginobili is such a fun guy to watch play. I really feel sorry for the people who have failed to enjoy him because he flops. He's a master of tricks. I mean, look at this guy. Hollis Thompson overplays the passing lane between Gino and Boris which leaves Gino free to drive without even having to use that fake he loves. MCW steps into Manu's path so Gino, like a wizard, moves him out of the way with a fake pass to CoJo in the corner. K.J. McDaniels then leaves Boris to help on Manu so Manu commands him into the air with a subtle fake to Baynes. Then Manu sees Nerlens Noel, works a little more magic with another fake and the youngster bit so hard on it that Baynes was airborne and on his way to throw one down by the time Noel came back to the ground.
Can you imagine Gino at the Y when he's like 60, just making people look foolish? All Baynes had to do in this play was be tall and there. Ginobili's an artist out there.
I love the ferocity that Jeff Ayres dunks with. I love watching Manu Ginobili pass between people. So this is a winner.
Bonus GIF content - The dunk is good enough to get Matt Bonner and Marco Belinelli out of their chairs, but only to politely clap.
Let's end with one from the Editor.
Every part of this next play shows off another dimension of The System and/or one of the specific talents that each Spur brings to the team to the point that even when mistakes are made there's enough going right to find another good-to-great scoring opportunity.
It begins with a Kawhi Leonard steal of an attempted post pass which he has to pursue to control. He fakes a pass in order to free himself to start the fast break, and he's off to the races. It looks as if he might cruise to a dunk, but Nerlens Noel hustles back and does a great job of keeping Kawhi from scoring or assisting, and the pass to Danny Green is to no advantage. If Danny had sprinted the whole way, or if he'd spotted up in the corner, the break might have been successful.
Danny pulls it back out to the three-point line before initiating the offense. This means passing to the last man up the court, the big man at the top of the key, Matt Bonner, who looks to swing it to Tony Parker, the wing opposite Danny, but Tony Wroten is hedging between Matt and Tony. This prevents a pass, which means Bonner dribbles toward Tony to make the pass safer.
Everything above (except for Danny's pulling the ball back out) happens so fast, that Philly's defense is still scrambling to set up, and Brandon Davies has been so busy directing traffic, that he's guarding precisely no one. Which fact Bonner realizes as he dribbles toward Parker.
With Davies running out to him, Bonner transitions from awkward-big-guy-on-the-perimeter-getting-ball-out-of-his-hands-ASAP into unguarded-Spur-driving the lane. He drives into the empty space that is the completely vulnerable lane in front of the Spurs goal, and swishes a barely-contested baby hook from about 6 feet.
A play that looked like it should have ended in a demonstrative slam, or a quick layup, or a three-point attempt with 20 seconds left on the shot clock, became two points in the paint off a shot taken 10 seconds into the possession.
That's Spurs basketball.