Tony Parker was great in the first quarter against the Heat, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the opening frame on 5-of-6 shooting. He was aggressive in attacking the rim, and he was perfect on layups. This is his first layup. This starts as Boris Diaw tracked down an offensive rebound off a Tony miss. Bobo spins towards the hoop on the baseline before finding Parker at the wing. Parker sees 20 feet of nothing in front of him and immediately drives into the lane. Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier, and Chris Bosh all make moves at the ball, but The Wee Frenchman keeps the ball out of reach as he hangs in the air and gets a ridiculous layup to go. In traffic...with some nice French off the glass. Oui Wee.
A rarity in GIF Breakdown, we'll look take a look at a play from the enemy. Wade probes the Spurs' defense with Manu behind the play after getting caught with a Bosh pick. Tim Duncan picks him up and Manu gives chase, which leaves Bosh completely unchecked in the restricted area. Wade makes a nice reverse bounce-pass to Bosh, who slams it down.
Tiago Splitter came off of the bench in the game as Boris got the start. He tallied four assists on the night and this one's a beauty. Sparkles sets a high pick for Manu Ginobili and rolls to the hoop as The Manu curls around the screen and finds the Brazilian with an absolutely perfect bounce-pass. One dribble from Splitter and he quickly puts a bounce-pass on the money to Boris, who finishes the play with a nice little layup while Chris Anderson comes crashing into him from behind. And-one!
Here we see Manu study the floor as Tiago sets a high screen for him. The Heat trap Gino, but the wily Argentine makes a fantastic pass to the rolling Splitter. Michael Beasley half checks Tiago in the lane before honoring Danny Green's long-range threat. Nothing in front of Tiago as he finishes with a confident two-hand dunk that pushed the Spurs' lead to 17.
Hey, it's Tiago with another assist in this one! Baguette Parker finds himself in a double-team, so he gets the ball to Splitter who wastes no time finding Duncan with a well placed pass. The bounce keeps it out of Bosh's reach, the placement keeps Wade from being able to get to the ball before Duncan, and Duncan keeps the ball high as Wade's steal attempt sends him crashing into Greg Oden just before Timmy throws down a powerful one-hand jam. This is a great way to run a pick-and-roll against Miami. When they trap the ball-handler, don't make it his responsibility to get the ball to the guy who is setting and slipping the screen. Have someone from the wing or post to do it. It only took a second from the trap to Tim getting the ball, that's some quick passing, and it sure was effective. Towel-wave sighting: Patty with The Slapper.
A lot of times we'll see Tim being patient, making calculations, figuring out how to beat his man. Give him too much space and he'll shoot a jumper. Take away his running righty hook and he'll beat you baseline. Take away the baseline and he'll just go to his hook. He has counters for forever. Sometimes though, Duncan will just beat his man with a strong move. The visceral Duncan.
This play starts with Duncan receiving the ball at the elbow from Marco, and Tim immediately makes his move against Bosh. It's a quick one-dribble attack, and Tim just muscles his way to the basket and finishes with a runner off the glass. Tim Duncan wasn't just the best player on his team, he was the best player in the game on Thursday night...at almost 38...with at least six Hall-of-Famers on the floor.
Here we see the Spurs in transition. Patty comes up with one of his 10 rebounds and pushes the ball to Danny. Marco Belinelli is streaking along the opposite sideline where Danny finds him as he approaches the wing. The Spicy One pauses briefly and thinks about the three, but Birdman Anderson closes quickly, and Beli beats him off the dribble and finishes with one of his routinely-great, tough layups. Left-handed on the right side, high off the glass. Good stuff.
Here's something we see just about every game from Kawhi. He uses his instincts and length to poke a pass into the backcourt. Then he's off to collect the ball and finish with a dunk. That kid is something else.
On the following possession we see LeBron struggle to handle the ball as his sleeves force a turnover. Really it's Kawhi "The Sleeve" Leonard making another fantastic play. He times his move on the ball perfectly, and is able to poke the ball into the backcourt again. James gives chase to the ball, but can't control it as the Spurs force another Heat turnover. If that previous dunk didn't break the Heat, this turnover did, and LeBron is clearly frustrated. By The Sleeve.