Let's jump right into the plays.
Jose Calderon can't be enjoying his time with the Knicks after playing for Rick Carlisle last season. Here Marco Belinelli just bullies him from the top of the arc to the right block and hits a tough leaner over the Spaniard. Beli was absolutely great last night.
Kyle Anderson got his first career start last night and more than doubled his made field goals for the season. He missed 24 of his first 27 shots in the NBA and last night he hit four of his five attempts. This isn't a score from him, his first quarter slam is further down the page, but it's a nice hesitation drive into the lane and pass to a cutting Danny Green. Danny finishes with a nice floater over Cole Aldrich.
In the offseason I made a best of Marco's cuts GIF breakdown that had so many nice ones that it had to be split into two parts. If you missed those, I think you'll enjoy them if you enjoy this play. The Italian is so great at moving without the ball and it's one of my favorite things to watch when the Spurs play. Here he is making three moves before scrambling through the lane. It's almost like a cartoon and I wish I could insert sound effects into GIFs. Tiago, nice to have him back, makes a perfect pass to Beli for the score as the good guys closed out the joke that is the Knicks.
I know I went Matt Bonner edition in the Final Score last night, but there was more goodness in the game from Matty B and I don't know if we've acknowledged just how much more he's driving this season. A drive is defined by the NBA as -- Any touch that starts at least 20 feet of the hoop and is dribbled within 10 feet of the hoop and excludes fast breaks. We're seeing over 300% more Bonner drives per game, from .6 last season to 1.9 this season, and he's doing that in just under 19 minutes a game. Per 48 minutes he's up to 4.5, which is right in between the frequency of Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford.
After the game against the Knicks he's up to 30 drives this season, which is just nine shy of his total in 2013-14. The drives have even been pretty successful as the Spurs have scored 28 points off of those drives compared to just 24 last year. All that said, I still feel pretty confident that Matt Bonner will never drive as many times in one game as he did against the Knicks on Wednesday night, and if he does, I don't think he'll have as much success. So here we go, a small tribute to Red Mamba.
Here Bonner dribbled five times, wove through three defenders, switched hands, found Kyle Anderson for a SloMo dunk and didn't break his stride on the way back to the other end. I wish he hadn't looked back, but still, someone get that man a sandwich.
This is the first time Bonner got the best of Quincy Acy. Of course it helps that once Bonner got by Acy all that stood between Matt and a successful push shot was Amar'e Stoudamire. In case you guys forgot, Stoudamire is making $23.4 million, or $285,000 per game this season.
This time as Acy closes, Matty went pump fake, drive, super-sweet hesitation, two more dribbles and then a jump step into a righty hook that hit nothing but net. That's when I fell out of my chair.
I'm don't think this technically qualifies as a drive by the NBA definition, but it's pretty close. Again Acy closes and Bonner puts it on the floor and gets to his trusty push.
That's it for this edition of GIF Breakdown, see you Pounders after the Lakers game.