Let's start this edition of GIF Breakdown with with a little Tim Duncan. The GOATPUFF dropped 21 points on the Ibaka-less Thunder in the first half. Early in the first quarter Tony Parker and Timmy ran a strange, delayed pick-and-roll. Tony runs into Nick Collison off the screen, stops to survey the court, sees nothing except for Tim who lingers at the pick a little longer than normal before turning to dive, and makes a short pass over Duncan's head. Timmy's always had good hands, and after he he catches the basketball he goes right at Collison with a one-dribble, 12-foot drive to the hoop and he gets the score.
Kawhi Leonard is gaining confidence, experience, and skills. Check him out in transition as he sees two guys between him and the basket. This does not deter the young man, he doesn't slow and pull it back out, toss it to Tony and let the team run some offense. Nope, he goes right at Collison and Kevin Durant, accelerating just past halfcourt and then stopping just outside of the restricted area. With the defenders on their heels, Kawhi easily creates the space he needs to get off that one-handed shot he likes.
I think we can celebrate Tim Duncan a little today. Big Fun runs another pick-and-roll with Tony, Kendrick Perkins shows on Tony, and Tim scores on Collison again with a pump-fake and a short banker.
Tony Parker had a very solid night. The Frenchman finished with 14 points on 50% shooting, and a whopping 12 assists to just one turnover. Let's see one of his more impressive showings from the game. First Tony loses Thabo Sefolosha with a nice crossover and follows that up by just flying by Nick Collison to get a routine layup.
So, Tim and Tony had a little bit of success with the PnR. Here Tony fakes right and Russell Westbrook, with those reflexes and impulsiveness jumps the screen, but Tony is going the other way. Steven Adams picks up Tony, Tony makes the simple bounce-pass to Duncan, and Kevin Durant isn't going to have much success stopping TD at the rim.
The next time Danny bails the team out with a shot-clock-beating, left-handed 12-foor-leaner, he should do as he did in this one and check his heat.
Danny Green with the pull-up-three in transition heat check, followed by an interesting pose.
This is such a rarity, and it happens against Westbrook, so it has to be included. So for posterity, here is Marco Belinelli getting his first postseason block, even if the official record didn't count it.
Scotty Brooks went with Durant at the five during the game. Durant and Westbrook switched onto Parker and Tiago Splitter, respectively. Tony swings the ball to Danny Green, and then Green nonchalantly makes a 30-foot pass to Tiago deep in the restricted area, Splitter waits for Reggie Jackson to fly by, followed by a slam.
Kawhi is really something else. Here he somehow covers 10+ feet to block a Durant jumper, and then gets out in transition and makes Tony Parker's job really easy. Parker gives up the rock and just watches as Leonard aggressively takes it to the rack for a sweet dunk.
Watch Kendrick Perkins just bowl over Timmy, nothing from the ref, and then he gets an and-one. Man...
Watch the basketball gods punish Kendrick Perkins shortly thereafter. Or maybe Perkins shouldn't be trying to make 3/4 court passes. Either way, Spurs ball!
Tim Duncan with quite possibly the most fundamentally sound bounce-pass of all time.
We'll be back soon with the second half of the game.