As the game wore on, the Spurs got better and better. The ball moved from good to great as this first clip shows with Patty making it look easy thanks to a perfect screen by David Lee.
For the night, the Spurs forced 17 turnovers that resulted in 18 points. Here Patty takes their possession away and beats the Blazers down the court where he dishes off to Jonathon Simmons who seems to fly in for the dunk.
Here the Spurs come down in unison like some kind of military movement to begin the set that starts with LaMarcus. He passes to Dejounte Murray on the way to the hoop with nice lay-in using the basket to deter the block. Without any doubt, Austin has been good for young Master Murray.
In working on this project, I noticed time and time again that the Spurs use the other team’s pressure to determine their next move. No pressure and they fire away. With pressure, the Spurs have been trained almost like Pavlov's dog that something good is gonna happen. Here Patty feels Portland’s pressure and knows somebody is open and fires a cross-court pass to Kawhi in the corner for a open three.
What starts out as a normal Danny to LaMarcus baseline drive to the bucket ends with a incredible reverse lay up HIGH off the glass and around Plumlee.
Here is a great overhead view revealing the Spurs spacing, passing and execution. Kawhi gets it started to Lee. As Lee drives, he draws the defense and passes the ball to Kyle Anderson who gets it to Jonathan Simmons. With the clock winding down, Simmons takes it to the hoop, finds a crease in the defense, switches hands and snakes his way to the rim for a layup.
LaMarcus passes up court to Patty who, without a single dribble and five feet outside the three point line, sets and knocks down the three. This was a blow to the Blazers as you can see from their body language.
Danny played thirty minutes of his typical disruptive game and showed his (not often seen) ability to create as the clock winds down. With Dedmon setting the screen, rather than firing a three he heads for the basket, squares up and shoots a lean-in banker over the opposing big.
For the last breakdown lets take a look at what Kawhi has been working on for improvement besides foul shot generators. From the top of the key, he surveys the defense and decides to isolate. He methodically uses Dedmon as a screener and slowly weaves his way to the baseline, taking what the defense gives him: the fadeaway jumper he’s been practicing until it’s silky smooth. Sean Eliott called this play pure Kobe, which makes sense as Kawhi grew up in southern California and probably saw this all through his childhood.
With the win, the Spurs go 16-2 on the road, good for best in the NBA. But more importantly, this was a bounce back total team effort from the tsunami generated by the Clippers. Next up is...Revenge Of The Chicago Mob on Christmas Day.