Tony Parker was great on Friday night, penetrating into the lane and finishing at a good clip. Here
Manu Ginobili saved the possession for the Spurs with a good hand and some fine balancing skills before drawing a foul that allowed the Spurs to regroup. Gino then knocked down a triple off of the inbound, presumably using a screen from Aron Baynes to get free.
Danny Green sees this pass coming well before it happens. He's in the passing lane, makes the steal and he's off with Boris Diaw running the middle of the floor. Boris drifts left to create a little more space while Danny moves to the break. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard beats everyone down the floor from the other baseline. Bobo then finds Whi, Whi spins to avoid Gary Harris and then pump fakes his way to an easy layup. Smart stuff from the Spurs.
Bonus GIF content: Patty Mills with The Slapper.
Not a Kawhi coast-to-coast, this is still a one-man show. Leonard grabs the board, takes it the other way, sees two defenders covering him but giving him too much space and Whi scores with a little step-back jumper. When his mid-range game is on he's a really tough cover.
Big Tim passed Patrick Ewing for sixth on the all-time blocks list on Friday night. He had three blocks in the game, and this one of Kenneth Faried is particularly nice with Duncan recovering to swat Faried's attempt just after he closed off the hoop from Ty Lawson. I forget the number of blocks Tim needs to move past The Admiral on the all-time list, but it's not happening this season. I sure hope Tim passes Robinson, just because I want him to play at least one more season. At least one Robinson record is forever safe from Tim -- that 71-point game.
Boris Diaw has not been the Boris Diaw that we'd like to see this season, like most of the team really, but like the team, he's showing flashes of life lately. There's still lots of time before the second season and the Spurs are going to need this aggressive, confident Bobo. Faried guards him here and takes away the middle, but a drop step from Diaw gives him the baseline and the big Frenchman uses the rim to keep Faried away from his shot. Wily.
Tony Parker looks like Tony Parker. Yup. Two weeks ago I'm not sure if Tony could have gotten to the hoop here, much less finish. Here he makes it look easy and routine. That's more like it.
More Tony penetrating. Here he draws all of the attention as he drives and finds a wide-open Duncan for two.
Even more Tony penetration, this time drawing the defense into the paint and then back out as he moves from the baseline away from the hoop. That leaves Tiago Splitter all alone at the basket and Tony tallies a helper with a slick pass across his body.
Teamwork: Tony breaks up the pass, Tiago hits the deck to help secure the loose ball, Tim Duncan adds another 60-foot beauty and secondary assist to his résumé, Tony picks up the primary assist and Kawhi again uses a pump fake to get an easy basket. I love it.
Boris Diaw with his best Tim Duncan impression. Really pretty turnaround banker from Le Croissant.
Let's finish this edition with the otstanding spin-move Tony busted out against Will Barton. That's vintage Tony. Everything seems promising at the moment, with most of the West struggling through injuries while the Spurs look like they're starting to put it together. The competition hasn't been anything to write home about but the team looks pretty good. Thursday's matchup with Cleveland should be a decent measuring stick for the good guys. These next five weeks are going to be exciting.
I'm not sure what The Manu was thinking here, but the Spurs won, so just for laughs -- perhaps the latest shot contest of the season.