The San Antonio Spurs closed out their series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. This earns the team more than a week long rest until their opponent is decided between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.
This long rest may be beneficial for the Spurs to rest up nagging injuries like Tony Parker's ankle, neck, and whatever else is ailing him. This will also give Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw an opportunity to possibly come back to the team to give it depth so the main rotation won't be averaging 35 or more minutes per game the next game.
The rest may worrisome with the Spurs coming in with momentum after a series sweep against the Lakers. With a week off against competition, the Spurs are in danger of losing the momentum they've desperately needed after finishing off the regular season in a poor fashion. This isn't the only factor either. The opponents for the silver and black play a huge role in this also. The Denver Nuggets were the favorites to win the series against the Golden State Warriors and may carry this series to seven games.
If the Nuggets prevail, they're not entirely banged up except for Kenneth Faried and his ailing ankle. Denver may present a huge problem against San Antonio with their athleticism, especially if the Spurs don't come out with energy early on and that may be expected with a long rest. The Warriors present a completely polar opposite situation for the Spurs.
If Golden State prevails in the series, San Antonio is going to have a matchup against a banged up Stephen Curry and a team that's playing without their double-double machine in David Lee. The Spurs' inside game will play a huge factor and by that I mean Tim Duncan.
Duncan dominated the Lakers' frontcourt who had two centers playing together and helping each other throughout the series. Duncan would face a smaller lineup and Andrew Bogut, who would bury the team's hopes of winning the series if he gets into foul trouble. Tony Parker's inside game would thrive without bigs for Golden State as opposed to Denver.
Now that the series is going to at least six games, the Spurs will have a week off before their earliest possible game on Monday. Coach Popovich will have the difficult task of keeping the team fresh and motivated while not wearing them out before the second round starts. The Spurs will find out Thursday if the series ends and who they'll be playing.
They can't afford to come out rusty, especially against an energetic Denver Nuggets team while they will be able to get away with it against the Golden State Warriors. The difference between the two teams is possibly a 6-7 game series with the Nuggets to a very possible sweep with the Warriors. This will all depend how the Spurs come out of this week long hiatus.
This could be a huge blessing for the San Antonio Spurs in much needed rest or a horrible curse in becoming rusty at the worst possible time.
Well great thing about rust it wears off right around the second half, the rest will help get our vets some much needed rest, we also get Diaw and Splitter back. It is a seven game series so if we do drop game one the rest will give us the fresh legs to close the team we face in 5...Yes 5 games only, nuggets or warriors are an easy warmup series for Memphis that is the true test. We will need fresh legs cause that is going to get real physical. I will take one rusty game for the big picture!
That is just enough rest, we wont need to worry about rust we spread the scoring too much to worry about one player being rusty. Benefits of having a complete team.
@ChrisCano that could be the problem. the Spurs because the Spurs do have depth. Parker/Duncan/Ginobili (especially being limited to 20mpg or so) haven't played that much and now take a week off from competition while either the Nuggets/Warriors are going to play every other day until Monday and stay in groove. it might not help the Warriors because they're banged up, but the Nuggets are pretty healthy with the team they've had on the floor during the posteason. the Spurs do need the time off especially Parker, but that won't guarantee that they won't be rusty since the team doesn't play aggressive during practice to lessen the chance of injuries.
between "rustiness" and without rest. it's easier to overcome rustiness I think.
Between "rustiness" and without rest, I think it's easier to overcome rustiness. Hey, the d-league season is over and the Spurs may have practice games with the Toros to keep fresh. GO SPURS GO!
Nuggets not entirely banged up, Jose? Faried may be a little with his ankle, but also, you seem to have forgotten that they don't have Gallinari. i still think that might hurt them not having him on the floor. but having said that, i'm sure the Nuggets would still put up a challenge, should they survive against the Warriors, which is uncertain.
@RG8907 by banged up, i did mean to the playoff roster not counting Gallinari. if i was counting Gallo, i would've said depleted or something of the court. they're still a good team w/o Gallo
ok, well either way, the Nuggets are still not 100% because they still won't have Gallinari. he was one of their key players for this team throughout the season, and it might hurt them at some point. and yes, i know they're still a good team w/out him, that's why i said they would still put up a challenge.