The Spurs started this one out the way they started out the first game against the Blazers, with an iso for Kawhi Leonard. This time he faces up, uses a jab step to create just enough space to get off his jumper. Looking good, Whi!
The Spurs are in transition and Tony Parker is pressing the issue, "pleasing" Popovich by keeping up the pace, and Tim Duncan helps his buddy out with a block on Wes Matthews that frees him to score using that little floater he's perfected.
Even when the Blazers were able to get LaMarcus Aldridge the ball in great position it wasn't easy for them. With LMA deep in the restricted area, Tim Duncan frees himself of Robin Lopez and challenges Aldridge's shot, pressing him into a poor attempt.
Tim and Tony run a little pick and pop here, Lopez is in no mans land, Tony passes back to Duncan, and the veteran big man knocks down a 17-footer. Towel wave sighting: Patty with The Slapper, which seems to be his go to wave lately.
The Blazers are in transition here and Wes gives the ball up to Lillard, who thinks about a pull-up from downtown, but Kawhi makes a great close and Lillard is forced to put the ball on the ground. He has a step on Whi, but Manu Ginobili brings help and Lillard has to attempt a tough pass through a bunch of traffic. It doesn't go so well.
Speaking of Manu Ginobili and Damian Lillard, here we see Tony drive and kick to Manu, who immediately attacks Lillard, beats him going left, and then it's just a simple little layup for the score.
This time at least Lillard makes Manu work harder for his points. He goes under a Tiago screen, and gets back to at least contest old-man speed Gino. It still doesn't work, and The Manu gets the push-shot to drop.
Tony didn't shoot the ball very well at the beginning of the game, but he distributed well for his teammates. Here we see him work around a Duncan drag-screen, penetrate into the paint, and then make a great wraparound bouncer to Tiago Splitter for the slam dunk. I think it's funny when announcers talk about teams wanting to play with pace as if the Spurs don't like to get out and run. That took seven seconds off the shot clock. Thanks for the tips, Mike!
Again, Aldridge gets the ball in great position, but there's a Spur, making it tough. It's Ginobili this time, and he forces a turnover.
Kawhi Leonard gets one of those big hands on the ball to take it away from Batum and Manu picks up the loose ball, fires it to a streaking Marco Belinelli, and the Italian converts an and-one at the basket.
Here's Lillard guarding Ginobili near the end of the first quarter. Boris Diaw comes out to set a high screen, Lillard is immediately beat as Ginobili goes right before finishing left with a hanging chip shot and a soft bounce. I don't think Lillard can guard Manu.
Second Quarter GIFs coming very soon.