You know that feeling you get when Danny Green has a half-step on his defender and he's sprinting down the court with the ball? At the game last night, even though Danny was playing great, I found my self screaming, "No! No! NO! Pass it! PASS IT!"
Thankfully, he pulled up and safely gave the ball to Patty. Anyways, I have the opposite of that feeling when watching Rudy Gay. Man, that guy is smooth. He's new to the system, city, and Popovich. He's coming off of a devastating achilles tear. He seems to be a little out of shape and a little out of sync.
Even so, watching him play basketball is as soothing as sitting on the beach and watching waves crash at sunset. Whereas Manu has a herky-jerky style that we all love, Rudy seems as if he's simultaneously moving way faster and way slower than his defender. He moves around the court like Clyde the Glide once did.
His shot is silk. He moves with purpose. He's in complete control. I think Rudy is going to have a big impact on the Spurs' success this year.
I loved how Popovich used him last night. A lot of the motion offense was designed to get Rudy on the block with a smaller defender on his back. That worked well.
I also liked that Pop used Rudy for the play that Manu normally runs out of timeouts. The misdirection where Manu drives baseline while LMA sets a screen on Danny's man while Green spots up in the opposite corner. It's a play that the entire league sees coming whenever Manu is the creator. Pop used Rudy Gay, who made a simple baseline spin move to create the angle for probably the most important shot of the game which Danny nailed. Pop closed with Rudy Gay. Obviously, with Kawhi and Tony out the rotations are different, but I like that Pop seems to already trust him.
Rudy Gay is smooth and I'm going to enjoy watching him play this year.