The analytics revolution is in full swing throughout the National Basketball Association, and with that in mind, the league has done an excellent job of beefing up its statistics features in recent years. This month brought the unveiling of a glorious new feature:
Movement animations for every play of every game? Fascinating. And yet something about these animations often strike me as a bit cold. They're lacking something...a little Latin flair, perhaps.
We here at P&T live by a certain credo: Paulus enim omnia reddit melius. That's Latin for "Pablo makes everything better." Pablo Prigioni and his glorious sneaks are the only reason to watch the New York Knicks at the moment.
But how can we possibly combine the analysis of these movement animations with the almost supernatural quality of Pablo's sneaks? Fortunately, P&T GIF maestro Bronx Chica was able to join these two disparate elements.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pablomotion: the next evolution in basketball analysis!
First let us look at a rare post entry pass sneak from last Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings:
As you can see, Cole Aldrich and Shane Larkin trap Kings point guard Ray McCallum in the corner. Jason Smith jumps out to guard Carl Landry -- he of zero three-point attempts this season -- at the three-point line, leaving Pablo to roam the roam the paint like a free safety. On second thought, Pablo pays more attention to the other kind of football. Is there a soccer equivalent of a free safety? If so, Pablo is that dude.
Meanwhile, Reggie Evans cuts to the low block to catch the post entry pass. You can see the look of surprise in Pablo's face as the pass is released: "Ray, my friend, why you throw the ball to Evans. I'm sorry, but he is no good...at the scoring. Ah well, I cannot look a gift sneak in the mouth."
And lo, Pablo steals the ball from Evans just as surely as lice take the preciousness nutrients from the nether regions of Evans' beard.
Here is an example of a team Pablosneak from a game against the Cavaliers:
At first blush, the movement graphics seems to indicate that No. 3 on the Cavs simply threw an errant pass. But then you realize that No. 3 on the Cavs just so happens to be Dion Waiters, and you push any thought of passing out of your mind.
In truth, Waiters was driving toward the paint when J.R. Smith reached around and poked the ball away. The look of joy and pride in Pablo's face as he picks up the ball is unmistakable: "J.R., such a tremendous sneak by you! Truly, we are brothers now!"
This sneak, on the other hand, is straight up one-man sneaking devastation -- a shot of Argentinian hot sauce:
From the beginning you can see Pablo stalking Monta Ellis with malicious intent -- wagging his tongue like a young Michael Jordan. And what does Monta do in response? He turns his back on Pablo at the three-point line. He turns his back! You think this is a game, Monta? Ball is real AF! You better hop on your vintage moped and meet me in Rio Tercero to drop hands!
Pablo handled Monta's insult as you would expect, by snatching the ball from his mark and racing out on the break. Just look at the smile on his face...that says it all, really.
Last but certainly not least, we have a prime example of Pablo's forte, the inbounds sneak:
Following a Tim Hardaway bucket with four seconds remaining in the quarter, Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors tries to sneak a quick inbounds to Lou Williams for a mad full-court dash to the hoop. The poor fool...did he not realize he was in Pablo country?
Pablo steals the pass, avoids falling out of bounds, and kicks out to Hardaway for a three-point try at the buzzer. He also seems to make a face like a constipated Vulcan at the end of the play? The man works in mysterious ways.
Study these four plays thoroughly, my friends. Once you have mastered the intricacies of Pablomotion, you can literally steal anything from anyone. Please, use this power wisely. With great Pablo comes great responsibility.