On Saturday Slow-Mo pump-faked Kevin Durant out of the picture frame and got a lay in. It was a clever, savvy move from a guy that is more famous for his relative lack of athleticism. Kyle Anderson is famously slow, and yet is crafty enough to get a bucket in the NBA against some of the best defenders in the league.
Last night he pump-faked a Jazz defender and stepped through only to lose control of the ball and then kind of heave it at the rim. The ref saw a foul some place and rewarded him with two free throws. On the next possession, noted old person Manu Ginobili tried a step-back-into-pump-fake that was swallowed up by the Jazz defender. He handed the ball to Kyle and Kyle tried a pump-fake and the Utah-an did not flinch.
The jig, as it were, is up.
It will not break the internet to know that the really good NBA players — the ones with commercials and the shoe deals and the banners hanging in the rafters — are the ones that can get their own shot against very capable, very smart and savvy defenders.
Something like ten years ago, Manu Ginobili could get off something better than he attempted last night. In that time, a Kyle Anderson type of guy would be waiting to capitalize on his primary defender’s split attention instead of his sole focus.
This is the problem with an injured team. Kawhi will get the biggest bucks because he can get his own shot and stop guys from getting theirs. Aldridge got a four year deal because — despite his attitude and playoff performance — he can get buckets.
If and when everyone is ready and healthy to make a final playoff push, it will be extremely difficult. For all the jokes everyone had about the Cavs, the Spurs are not really in a much better position. The Cavs are hoping to get things together in time to stave off a newly rejuvenated Toronto and a tough Boston to get another shot at the Cavs.
The Spurs are hoping everyone is back and ready enough to throw off the offensive machine that is the Rockets to prepare for the immovable object that is the Warriors.
Unlike the Cavs, however, the Spurs do get some benefit from all this. Kyle Anderson is getting huge minutes and prime opportunity to add to his crafty skill set (a la Diaw, even though Boris was a better athlete in his prime) for when it is most useful — in the playoffs against a second unit.
Last night was frustrating but there is little that can be done with so many injuries. This can be read on repeat after every shaky possession and every shaky performance.
Hurry Kawhi, you are our only hope.