The Spurs went small at the beginning of the second quarter, playing Boris Diaw at the five. This provided a matchup with Robin Lopez, and the jack-pf-all-trades Frenchman made quick work of the lumbering big man. First straight up beating him with quickness and a righty hook across the lane.
Second, Boris Diaw is trailing the play and receives the ball from Patty Mills. Bobo doesn't stop, does a little dance, keeps Lopez guessing, and then drops a floater in from 10 feet. The Spurs continued to push the pace.
Here we see Boris keep Lopez off of the glass and then sprint the floor, easily beating Lopez, and is rewarded with a beautiful Manu pass that turns into an assist and an and-one as Boris finishes with Mo Williams committing a silly foul. Boris scored seven points in 50 seconds of game time.
Here we see Kawhi Leonard block Robin Lopez, recover the ball, push the ball up the court, and then pull up at the top of the key for a super quick score. The Spurs really put it on Portland in the second.
There was an open three for Danny Green after a Boris offensive rebound.
Portland managed some offense as well. Here we see Mo Williams make one of the crazier shots I've ever seen. He's out with a groin issue. I'm not sure if that makes Portland better or worse. On the one hand, he's been known to make shots versus the Spurs and the Blazers already have a really short bench, but on the other hand, Mo was a minus-16 in nine minutes of work.
Then it was back to Tony Parker finding open teammates. Marco Belinelli works to the corner as Parker drives baseline. It's good to see Beli with his touch back.
Parker/Splitter pick-and-roll, easy points. The Blazers are so focused on stopping Parker, that they forgot about Splits. Seems like they should know about him by now.
This is my favorite play of the postseason so far. Robin Lopez tries to go hard to the hole, but Timmy is there to block his shot, sending it into the hands of Manu Ginobili who gives it up to Parker. Tim Duncan, in his 220th playoff game and veteran of 17 seasons, puts his head down and sprints the floor, in a 16-point game mind you, to help Tony Parker convert the layup.
The third quarter didn't provide many highlights, with the Spurs struggling from the floor. There was this one from Kawhi, who battles for a board and wins over Robin Lopez before taking the ball up the court. He sees Wes Matthews step back to defend the drive and Kawhi steps back and drains a triple The young man was feeling it last night.
At the end of the third Patty Mills uses a ball screen and a confident stroke to extend the Spurs' lead back out to 16.
The Spurs run a bit more to get Patty this open look. First Patty gives up the ball and loops under the basket, pauses for a second, and then makes a beeline for the top of the arc. The elevator doors are open for Mills, but Boris and Tiago shut them before Earl Watson can make it through. Excellent execution by the Spurs, and Patty isn't going to miss a look like that too often.
Manu vs. Lillard and a Duncan screen are a bad combo for the Blazers. Manu shakes Lillard, gets into the paint, and converts a floater over Lopez. Said Lillard,
Their screens hurt. They actually set real screens. They do a great job of setting and holding screens. It wears you down. Chasing Tony Parker is one thing. Getting hit every single time is another thing. It takes a toll on you.
Manu gets the inside position on Lillard here, and Duncan sees it. Timmeh finds Manu with a nice pass for the layup alley-oop.
Nicolas Batum hit a three to cut the Spurs' lead to eight, but our big French guy returned the favor, using a Duncan screen to lose Aldridge while Tony picks up the easy assist.
Gino/Lillard plus a screen just killed Portland. Here Gino gets deep into the paint, draws the whole defense in, and then kicks it out to Kawhi with a nice pass, and Whi just wasn't going to miss an open look last night. I think this one broke Batum's spirit.
If that one didn't completely seal it, this one certainly did. The Manu takes advantage of Lillard again. He's just so wily, and I don't know that Damian is up to this task that he's been assigned. Manu just lulls him to sleep, and there's no chance for Lillard to get back in the play. Stotts should look to change his strategy, because this is killing them, and Manu shot poorly in this one.
Whew...That's a lot of GIFs from the game. See you Pounders after the next one. Until then, this team is so easy to root for.