The San Antonio Spurs are using the extended rest to straight out a few kinks, familiarize players like Boris Diaw and Patty Mills more into the system and are doing their best to stay in shape and keep their rhythm and conditioning as good as possible.
Coach Gregg Popovich has used full-squad scrimmages in the team’s practice gym, to make sure eveyone stays sharp.
In the meantime, their two potential semifinal round opponents the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers will play a do-or-die Game 7, Sunday night in Memphis; but the Spurs have expressed no preference for which team they prefer.
A matchup with Memphis would bring a rematch of last year’s first-round series, when the Grizzlies stunned the top-seeded Spurs.
A meeting with the Clippers would summon a pair of Western Conference All-Star starters to the second-round stage in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
In the regular season, the Spurs went 4-0 against Memphis and 2-1 against the Clippers, who on March 9 became one of only five visitors this year to win at the AT&T Center.
However, no matter who the opponent may be, the Spurs expects a tough series.
Memphis' size could cause matchup problems with San Antonio's frontcourt, while the Clippers will certainly present a great backcourt duel between Paul and Tony Parker.
"Both teams play very hard, good defensively, good defense on the bigs," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "Whoever we play will be really tough."
The wait is almost over for the Spurs. Whoever they play in the semifinal round will definitely put more resistance than what Utah gave them, but that doesn't mean they won't be ready.
"I really don’t care who we play," Tim Duncan said. "Whatever it might be, they're going to figure it out themselves. We're just going to be here waiting."
Indeed, The Spurs will be waiting, if they draw Memphis, revenge will be their battle cry. If the Clippers advances, expect San Antonio to use their experience and veteran smarts to their advantage.
(Photo via ESPN/NBA)