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NBA Assists of the Night: Manu and Mo Go Behind-the-Back

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Ginobili and Williams both had impressive behind-the-back assists during last night’s NBA action.

NBA Assists of the Night: Manu and Mo Go Behind-the-Back

Is 2014 the year of the behind-the-back pass in the NBA? If last night's play is any indication, it certainly might be. 

The dunk above by Sideshow Bob Robin Lopez didn't come last night, but he flushed one in similar fashion against the Charlotte Bobcats thanks to a beautiful pass from Mo Williams. The Portland Trail Blazers may have knocked down 21 three-pointers in their 134-104 win over the Bobcats, but the most impressive play was the nifty play from Williams. After a strong drive into the paint ended when help rotated over, Williams ended up turned around against the defense. That didn't stop him from noticing a cutting Lopez, and Williams calmly delivered the ball behind-the-back and right on the money. The dunk was still contested, but Lopez had enough time to go up with the attempt. Williams had 10 assists on the night, but this was easily his best one.

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However, that wasn't even the best behind-the-back pass of the night. Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs stole a lazy pass to start a 2-on-1 fast break against J.R. Smith. Ginobilii smoothly crossed over, made some space and calmly delivered a behind-the-back pass to Danny Green running side-by-side. The pass caught Smith off guard, and his attempt to shift over resulted in a complete wipeout. Green glided to the rim unimpeded for the easy layup while Smith watched helplessly from the floor.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fR_TLNk5qY0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Tasteless sniper comment from Spurs announcer Sean Elliott aside, the ankle-breaking effects of Ginobili's pass lift it over Williams' pass in my eyes. Both of these passes were beautiful though, and hopefully this leads to more fancy dishing in 2014.

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