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Good Basketball

TrueHoop reader Trieu points out a favorite moment of last night's game. (It's the last highlight here.) What Robert Horry, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan do has a lot to do with what they call "basketball IQ:"

It's 80-72 Spurs late in the game. Ginobili catches the ball on the left side beyond the three-point line. He sees Duncan on the low post and wants to feed him the ball. However, Varejao is doing a good job fronting Duncan and thus preventing the pass.

Meanwhile Horry is hovering on the weak side. When Horry sees what's happening, he flashes to the foul line area and forms a Ginobili-Horry-Duncan triangle. Ginobili sees this, feeds the ball to Horry, and Horry bounces a pass to Duncan. Because Varejao is fronting Duncan, Duncan has a clear path to the basket, and Varejao's helpless. Duncan has an open path to the basket and an easy layup. It's not flashy, or even extraordinary, but it's beautiful. Good basketball players have such an incredibly intuitive understanding of space. The entire sequence described above happened in under five seconds. I can't even tie one of my shoes in that amount of time.

Trieu, there is help for you too. (This guy couldn't be happier.)