The Passing Game, Vol. 7: Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Spurs

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Welcome to The Passing Game, where we simply take the time to glorify the dimes being thrown all around us.

Here were some noteworthy dimes in the NBA from last night.

 

This was great action by the Thunder with Kevin Durant coming off a hand-off from Steven Adams at the top of the circle. Some misdirection initiated the play, and it was almost like a wheel as Andre Roberson cleared out for Russell Westbrook to replace. As Durant came off the hand-off, Westbrook was already in motion for a backdoor cut behind Dwyane Wade. OKC ran this to perfection, but it’s reliant on Durant threading that needle with the pass.

Dwyane Wade created the most exciting highlight from this game on an alley-oop to Hassan Whiteside. In the pick-and-roll game, Wade drew Steven Adams to him with a paint touch and set up a lob for Whiteside to go up and get over the defense. 

This is just the pure beauty of the Spurs in a quick, simple passing game. Tony Parker uses Tim Duncan for an initial pindown and then a second ball screen, which draws Duncan’s defender, Marc Gasol, towards the base line. Parker makes the quick pressure release bounce pass to Duncan at the elbow. Matt Barnes, who arguably made the wrong call by stunting so hard at Duncan, got burned by Duncan’s awareness and a quick swing over to Kawhi Leonard for an open three. Quick, deliberate, and unselfish decisions. That’s when the passing game is at it’s best.

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