Let's start this edition with a pick and roll between Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. It starts in the right wing and Timmy slips the screen, sealing off Shawn Marion, and Gino finds him with a high pass that Duncan gathers and puts through the hoop.
Danny Green found his shooting stroke as this series dragged on. Near the end of the first quarter the Spurs are in transition with Danny trailing on the right side of the floor. Patty Mills shovels a little pass to Green as he's approaching the three-point line and Verde stops and pops the triple to open up an even bigger lead for the Spurs. A confident Danny is great for the team.
Poor Dirk Nowitzki. There's been a switch and now he has to stop Ginobili way out at the top of the arc. It's not exactly fair, Dirk's feet don't know where to go, and Gino gets into the paint where he flips a little shot over Nowitzki and through the rim.
Here's another Duncan/Ginobili pick-and-roll from the right wing. This time Gino curls all the way into the lane where he is met with Maverick help. The Manu goes up but has no intention of attempting a shot, instead he makes a beautiful bounce-pass around the defenders to Duncan. Dirk is pulled out to the three point line by the threat of Green and it's an uncontested layup for Big Fun from there. This play is a thing of beauty.
Let's watch the timeless veteran go to work down low. Tim has a mismatch with Vince Carter on him. He abuses the veteran Mav as he backs him down and gets an easy turnaround banker to go. You can't see it from this angle, but Carter is playing face-first defense, which is why he grabs his head at the end of the play.
You all know I love Boris Diaw. I find his style of play delightful, but this is unacceptable. He fails to score on an easy layup that was set up by an amazine pass from Ginobili. The Argentine comes off of a Diaw screen only to have Dirk step up to take away the lane from Gino. No problem for Manu, who nutmegs the Big German and puts the pass on the money to Bobo. Then Bobo missed. That's too bad...
Let's check out some plays from Tony Parker, who brought his a-game to the AT&T Center on Sunday. He finished with a game-high 32 points on 19 shots. Here he is blowing by a reaching DeJuan Blair and getting to the hole for an uncontested left-handed layup.
Here's Tony working from a Duncan pick, hesitating in front of Blair which freezes him, and then exploding around the ex-Spur to get a scoop shot to drop. I sure hope this is the Tony we get for the rest of the playoffs.
This time we'll see TP do his damage before the defense can get set. He pushes the ball in transition, uses a Splitter drag screen and then beats Devin Harris to the rack. It won't show up in the box, but check out TD clear the lane for Tony. It's the little things.
Check out DeJuan Blair fight to front Tim Duncan. He sort of wins, but Tim is now able to take Blair out of the play. Tony sees it and fakes right to place Blair in Harris' way as Tony attacks the rim. Vince Carter tries to help, but he just grabs jersey and sends Tony to the line for an and-one.
Let's end this edition of GIF Breakdown by taking a look into the crowd. We see an older gentleman in a Tommy Bahama shirt next to a cool Tony Parker fan. We know he's cool because he's wearing his sunglasses inside, and if George Clinton taught me anything, it's that you have to put your sunglasses on to feel cool and also so that you can see what you're doing. Both calling for a technical on a very demonstrative and ticked-off Rick Carlisle, who was just doing anything he could to try to slow down the Spurnami bearing down on his team. The guy in the Hawaiian shirt is Michelle Beadle's dad.
That's it for round one, Pounders. See you guys after Game One of the semis, hopefully after the Spurs take a 1-0 lead over the Blazers. Until then, this team is so easy to root for.