The question was whether or not the time off would help the Spurs or hurt them. The answer is that it probably didn’t matter, because they are simply a much better team than the Clippers are and proved as much with their total beat down of Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
San Antonio demonstrated how these two teams could not be more different.
First, the Spurs run an offense. The Clippers have a couple of talented guys that run around and make difficult shots.
Next, the Spurs play team defense. The Clippers jump through the roof and block a shot once in a while, but mostly just foul.
And of course, the Spurs win championships. The Clippers win dunk competitions.
The Spurs are a basketball team on the brink of another ring. The Clippers are a team that celebrated making the playoffs.
Even with these short falls, the Clippers gave a good effort Tuesday night in San Antonio. Yet, the result was never in doubt, as the Spurs showed the Clippers not only how champions win, but how champions play.
Throughout the playoffs you always hear commentators and players talking about how it’s going to get rough now that it’s the playoffs, but in the Spurs’ series, sportsmanship was on display. The Spurs show the difference between playing hard and playing dirty.
When Duncan accidentally knocked Blake Griffin in the mouth with his shoulder running down the court he apologized and made sure he was all right. When two spurs knocked Nick Young to the ground while he was driving to the rim, they helped him up.
Don’t misunderstand me, the spurs were still fouling hard when necessary, diving on the ground at every opportunity, keeping their elbows high and sharp in the post, but they don’t get into the needless jawing many players believe is critical to post season success.
When the dust settled at the AT&T center in San Antonio, Tim Duncan had gone for 26 points and 10 rebounds, Manu Ginobili had 22 points, and Tony Parker had 11 assists — good lines for San Antonio’s big three. The Clippers Chris Paul had 10 assists, but only six points, Blake Griffin had 15 points and nine rebounds, and their highest scorer was Eric Bledsoe with 23 points off the bench.
The difference in this game wasn’t the Spurs rest, it wasn’t the Spurs bench play, and it wasn’t the play of the Spurs' big three. The difference in this game, and this series, is that this Spurs team is simply much better than the Clippers.
Los Angeles will be lucky to push this series to five games.
Photo Credit: AP
Michael Brouillet is the lead basketball writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @(MikeBrouillet).