SAN ANTONIO – After a week of waiting, it is finally time for the San Antonio Spurs to continue their title quest with Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"It has been a few days, we are (ready after having) been practicing," said Boris Diaw.
Diaw also admitted it might take a few minutes to get back in the groove.
"It is a great time to get rest and recharge the batteries," Patty Mills said.
They are going to need to be fully charged against two all-stars, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant who are averaging 26 points each per game in the playoffs so far this postseason.
It will be a huge challenge for the Spurs defense.
"(We need to) make every shot they take tough," Tim Duncan said.
Not only are they going to have try and keep Westbrook and Durant under control, they are also going to have to try and control the boards. With guys such as Steven Adams and Enes Kanter rebounding will be a big factor.
"I think that is going to be one of the keys of the series is … to control the boards," Duncan said.
The Thunder averaged 47 rebounds a game during their five-game series with the Mavericks while the Spurs grabbed 42 a game in their sweep of Memphis.
The Spurs create their own set of problems for the Thunder. For starters they have to worry about guarding Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, the top two scorers for the Spurs. Leonard averaging 21 points a game so far in the playoffs while Aldridge is scoring 14. Those numbers are a little skewed since they only played four games against the Grizzlies and the starters got to rest a couple of times at the end of games.
And a veteran team like the Spurs know how to take advantage of their opportunities and mistakes by the other team, so the Thunder are going to have to be fully focused.
"This is a team you have to be a hundred percent locked in," Adams said. Then he was asked how the Spurs can accomplish that for 48 minutes.
"You got a chance of winning the lottery. It is so difficult especially against this team," Adams said.
As far as the Spurs are concerned, they are preparing for a long series and for LaMarcus Aldridge, using a simple approach.
"(We’ve) just got to go play our game. You can't over think it too much," Aldridge said.