Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter had their way with Paul Milsap and Al Horford all afternoon. While Jeff Teague and Horford are busy with the Tim/Tony two-man game, Tiago Splitter makes a great cut while MIlsap is watching the ball. The ball is basically on it's way from Tim to Tiago when Milsap turns to see where Splitter is and the big man finishes the easy layup.
Here's Timmy finding Tiago again. Look at how mobile Splitter is now that he's healthy and then think about the size and basketball IQ that a front line of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter brings to the floor.Stir in their front-court mate in Kawhi Leonard and it's amazing that anyone ever scores on the Spurs. The Spurs' starting lineup has been destroying their competition in March and big man passing like this is part of the reason. Boris Diaw, who we'll get to a few GIFs down, is showing signs of coming out of hibernation and at his best he's the best passer of the those three bigs. Is there a team in the league that has better big man passing that the Spurs?
I'm sure you've seen this one but we have to include it in the GBD for posterity. The half-court bounce pass from Kawhi Leonard to Tiago Splitter. That's Ginobili-esque and brillian. Kawhi was fantastic all afternoon, just wanted to point that out because there is a a lack of KL GIFs in this GBD.
Check out this three-on-five. Danny Green secures the rebound and gets the ball to Tony and Tony pushes while Tim and Tiago run the court with him. Notice that all five Hawks are back when two passes beat the defense and lead to a push shot for Duncan. That's such pretty, well-executed basketball. Spurs are rolling right now.
Boris Diaw played his best quarter of basketball this season in the final period on Sunday. Personally, watching Bobo operate at that level is absolutely one of my favorite things to watch in the NBA, or in sports, really, so we're going to feature the big Frenchman for the rest of this edition of GIF Breakdown.
This was a great cut and pump fake from Danny but let's not overlook the perfection that was the dish from Boris. It's not flashy and will be forgotten quickly, but I think it deserves a brief acknowledgement. When Boris gets the ball the first thing he does is make eye contact with Danny and that's when this became two points. I think there's something about Boris' disposition that makes his defenders a little slower, a little more relaxed. As Danny cuts, Horford looks like he's so concerned with being backed down that he doesn't even react to Diaw's pass until it's pretty much in Green's hands. The pass wasn't fast, in fact, it looks like it was delivered more leisurely than 95% of passes in the game, yet there was no chance that it wasn't going to work. Diaw is one of the unique talents in the game.
This is one of my favorite Diaw moves: trail the break, get the ball at the top of the arc, hesitate slightly while the defenders make sure you're not going to burn them with a slick pass and then use that misdirection and your momentum to, ahem, explode to the rack.
Diaw has sneaky athleticism and he's highly skilled. When he's motivated, or feeling it, or warmed up, or hungry, or full, or properly caffeinated, or whatever it is that leads to peak Bobo he's a joy to watch. Check out this majestic, statue-of-liberty finger roll.
Duncan deserves most of the credit for this one with one of his "C" outlets, but Bobo does a good job of waiting for Carroll to pass him before softly depositing the ball through the net.
This is just ridiculous. Milsap makes an attempt to steal the ball, fails, and then Diaw is spinning, driving baseline, faking and then Euro-stepping his way to an off-balance hook that is pure. That has to put a smile on your face.
Diaw's original plan here was to just swing the ball to Kawhi in the corner but DeMarre Carroll knows Boris loves to pass so he takes the passing lane away from the Frenchman. Diaw stops short, has Carroll off balance, drives middle and then gets the ball to Whi in the corner with a gorgeous no-look helper.
Timmy doing his thing where he's first off of the bench to slap fives with his teammates.
See you Pounders next time. This team is so easy to root for.