Gregg Popovich killed my dream of the Spurs having a winning regular season record versus the entire league by resting the Big Three plus Tiago against Portland. The Spurs can even the series back up when they host Portland on Friday night. If they do that then they get another chance at the distinction a month from today on January 16th.
On to the plays from the loss on Monday night.
Here's a play that shows good awareness from Aron Baynes. Boris Diaw backs down Damian Lillard and Baynes curls off of Robin Lopez who has to stay to help with Diaw sure to score one-on-one with Lillard. As soon as Lopez commits to help Baynes cuts backdoor and Boris gets one of his nine helpers with a nice wraparound pass to the Big Banger.
Here Kawhi Leonard fights his way into the paint before the Portland defense can get set. He beats Lillard on the perimeter with a crossover and a half-screen from Baynes before he takes it right at Robin Lopez and scores off the glass.
Crossover, between the legs, hop-back jumper.
Kyle Anderson had a good game with 15 points, five boards and an assist and block in his 20 minutes on the court. He has much to learn before he's not a minus defensively, but at least the shots are going in for the kid lately. After starting a dismal 3-for-27, he's gone 13-for-18. Here's a great example why he has the Slo Mo nickname. Everything about this drive seems to be happening at 75% of normal speed. Pretty finish for the and-one.
An aggressive drive by Kawhi draws Robin Lopez off of Baynes and Whi exploits the hole with a shovel pass to Baynes. The Aussie goes with a mild throwdown.
Marco Belinelli wasn't very good on Monday night but he did have this one great score. Working off a Jeff Ayres screen he uses a hesitation to get Chris Kaman leaning the wrong way as he goes baseline to get a nice layup.
Here's one more from Kyle Anderson. Working from the wing he curls around a Matty Bonner screen, takes two dribbles, two big steps through the lane, a little fake and then finishes with a smooth finger roll. He won't factor into the Spurs' plan this season, but I'm intrigued by the youngster.
Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown with one from the Blazers. Here's Damian Lillard doing a great Tony Parker impression, weaving through the lane, dodging big men, finishing at the hoop and then ending up sliding on his back along the baseline. Nice stuff from Dame.
See you Pounders after the Memphis game.
Bobo with the a-guy-this-big-he-shouldn't-be-that-quick score.
And Boris with a foray into the paint and a pretty hook.