What better way to start than with a score from Big Fun. It's the first two points of the game for the good guys and it's the result of some great passing. Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter run a high pick and roll at the left wing and Kenneth Faried shows hard on Baguette, who whips a nice pocket pass around the Manimal to an open Splitter at the left block. Duncan is waiting in the lane and Tiago hits him with a quick pass. Then, a couple of steps from Timmy as he faces the basket and releases a floater over Quincy Miller's outstretched hand. That's some beautiful ball movement from San Antonio.
Tim Duncan notched three dimes while Danny Green added nine points to his line in just 47 seconds during the fourth minute of the game. The first is off a simple hand-off, and the next two come in transition as Timmy finds the sharpshooter with a nice outlet pass and then plays a little point forward. Unfortunately, Danny Green injured his foot in the game and only had the chance to knock down five threes. Hopefully the 3-and-D dude can recover quickly.
Let's watch Manu Ginobili go to work on Evan Fournier in an isolation. He clears a little space to work with, pump fakes into a drive that lasts for one step and one dribble, and then hits the brakes while Fournier is heading into the lane. Fournier actually recovers quickly and puts up a decent challenge to Manu's shot, but the Argentine's step-back jumper falls through the rim. What's this midrange game? In Manu's 59 games this season he's taken just 46 attempts from 16-24 feet, which is a probably a good thing.
Here's some more excellent passing resulting in a Timmy slam. Gino drives baseline and is met with a triple team. Numero Viente makes a sweet bounce-pass to Boris Diaw, who sees Tim all alone and Bobo wastes no time sending the ball the legend's way. Duncan finishes the play with a two-hand flush. Patty Mills and Jeff Ayres are working on a synchronized Slapper, but their timing is still just a little off. No doubt they'll tighten it up for the second season.
Man, Manu Ginobili is special. He's such a treat to watch play the game. You may remember this play from the Magician several games ago.
Well, Manu continues to lead his receivers to just the right spot . Look at this pass he makes to a spot that's a solid 10 feet from where Patty is when he makes the pass. It's stunning. Manu puts the ball over his defender's head and between two other Nuggets as it travels and hits Mills in the chest inside the restricted area. That's an easy two for the good guys, and it is absolutely gorgeous.
This play looks like total chaos. It starts with Boris attacking from the corner, going airborn in the paint and kicking to Marco Belinelli. While Diaw is driving, Manu makes a hard cut and almost runs into Boris. The Italian dribble-drives off a fake, while Patty Mills works his way all the way around the arc to the corner and Manu moves to the wing. Marco finds nothing in the paint and Ty Lawson swtiches onto the Big Frenchman. Ty steals a look at Diaw, who fakes going right, gets Lawson to bite, and then goes backdoor where The Spicy One hits him with a bounce-pass as Aron Baynes is clearing Faried out of Boris' way. Diaw Dunk!
I was lucky enough to be in attendance last night to watch that incredible performance from the GOAT PUFF, but this play really stood out to me, and I was completely floored by it. For some reason, no one in my section thought it was all that great. I was standing up, not exactly cheering - more in bravo-mode with my jaw on the floor, and when my surroundings returned to my consciousness I noticed that I was the only one standing. Without a doubt, the people around me were more impressed by a couple of out-of-bounds saves. Strange.
Let's see one more Tony to Tiago to Timmy play. Timofey Mozgov has Duncan, but he's a little confused. First he helps with Parker, and then for some reason follows Tony's pass to Tiago which leaves Tim without anyone within 10 feet of him. Splitter makes a slick touch-pass to Tim and The Ageless One gets another dunk.
Poor Mozgov. Splitter sets a pick for TP and the Frenchman works his way to the opposite elbow as Tiago leisurely rolls and trots right on by Mozgov. Tony passes to Splitter out of a double team, and Tiago gives a fake before finishing with one of his patented big-man reverse layups. Timofey is real tall, but he's got to pay more attention. How do you not notice that your man has worked his way behind you when he's moving like five miles an hour? Who is he pointing to? Perhaps Tim and Ken should spend a week at a communication retreat in the offseason.
Sure this is something that we see in just about every game, but it doesn't really get old, does it? It's the Whi-Whi special, the steal/rebound coast-to-coast finish. Kawhi is in just the right place to pick up a Lawson turnover, and then he avoids a steal attempt before losing a defender and working his way through traffic while picking up speed. It's just a full-on Leonard against a backpedaling Faried. Whi gets a step on Faried and gets the hoop and the harm with a pretty finish. KL hit the free-throw for the completion of the three-point play.
Tiago, that big Brazilian, has had a nice run of late. He scored 10 points in the game on just five shots and also passed his way to five assists. These are a nifty couple of points. He fights for the rebound after a Leonard miss, taps the loose ball to himself, and then puts up a layup that rides the iron before dropping through. Am I crazy, or does he not only look more comfortable and assertive on the floor, but quicker too?
The Spurs were sloppy in the second half and the Nuggets made a game of this one with a big run in the fourth. Good thing the good guys have Kawhi Leonard on the team. Whi uses all of that length he has to block this Randy Foye shot with 1:17 left in a six-point game. Spurs win!
See you Pounders next GIF Breakdown, hopefully after the Spurs extend their win-streak to 16. Until then, the Spurs sport an amazine record of 55-16, which is easily the best in the league. This team is so easy to root for.