(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs have been home resting for more than
a week since they swept the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, they face the upstart
Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, starting Monday in
the Alamo City.
The rest has been welcome for the Spurs.
"It's been good. We're taking advantage of it," said the venerable Tim Duncan.
"We're using the time to rest up. You don't want to lose the rhythm. We're
The Spurs faced the Lakers without Kobe Bryant and without Steve Nash for two
of the four games. The Lakers pounded it inside to Dwight Howard and Pau
Gasol, but now the up-tempo Warriors await. They are younger than the Lakers
and try to get out and run the floor.
"The pace is going to be different than the last team we played," Duncan said.
"It's going to take a little while."
Golden State beat the third-seeded Denver Nuggets in six games in the first
round. The clincher came Thursday night in front of a raucous crowd at Oracle
The Warriors haven't advanced to this point in the postseason since 2007. They
haven't won two series in the playoffs since winning the NBA title after the
1974-75 season. In fact, they haven't taken more than a game in this round of
the playoffs since 1977.
"This is a scrappy group," said Golden State coach Mark Jackson. "I'm
extremely blessed to be in this position. That's a special group. This is the
greatest group of men I've ever been around as a team."
The Warriors and Spurs split the four regular-season matchups, with the home
team winning each time. When Golden State beat the Spurs on Feb. 22, it
snapped a 16-game losing streak to San Antonio.
It's worse for the Warriors in San Antonio. They've dropped 29 straight as the
visitor in this series and their last victory in San Antonio came on
Valentine's Day in 1997.
For some perspective, Warriors star guard Steph Curry was one month away from
turning nine years old the last time Golden State won a game in San Antonio.
"What better time to change that," said Curry.
The Warriors won both games at home during the regular season, but lost seven
straight before that.
"If I was picking this series, I'd give them the check mark," acknowledged
Jackson. "It's a model organization. They've got three future Hall of Fame
basketball players, a future Hall of Fame coach. It's going to be a tough
task. They are clearly the favorite.
"It's going to be fun."
The Sports Network