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Spurs certainly are rested, but are they rusted?

Jun 5, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four Getty Images

Back in 2001, the Lakers finished off a sweep of the Spurs 111-82 on May 27. Then they had to sit around with nine days off until Game 1 of the Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Those Lakers lost just one playoff game that season (15-1) — that first game after the long layoff. It was a combination of a rusty Shaq, Kobe (7-fof- 22) and the rest of the Lakers, and a 48-point outburst from Allen Iverson.

The San Antonio Spurs finished off the Memphis Grizzlies in a sweep on May 27, and just like those Lakers they off until June 6, waiting for a winner out of the East (it eventually was the Heat). The exact same break those Lakers had.

Will they come out rested or rusted?

Some rest is certainly good for a banged up Spurs team. For example, Manu Ginobili told the San Antonio Express News this is the best he has felt since training camp.

“Now, to tell you the truth, I even forgot about what happened during the season,” he said. “I am feeling good now, we are in the Finals, who cares (about previous injuries)? No one’s going to remember I missed 20 games during the regular season.”

The Spurs had at least a week off in 1999, 2005 and 2007 — all years they won they opening game of the Finals and went on to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. It doesn’t bother them much.

Still, there could be rust. The Spurs are going to go from inactivity to facing one of the most aggressive and athletic defenses in the league in the Heat — they trap, they jump passing lanes and they use their athleticism to force turnovers.

The Spurs, with their ball movement and movement off the ball, might have the perfect antidote for that style, but after nine days off to jump right back in against this Heat defense will be an adjustment. You can’t simulate what the Heat do in practice.

Even if it takes just a half to get their flow back, which may put San Antonio in a hole they can’t dig out of in Game 1. Just something to watch.

  1. hwatt - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    yeah, very few, if any teams can afford to just spot the Heat 1 game. If spurs lose in 7… this is a reason why.

  2. explosionsauce - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    So are you the Heat writer at PBT because your articles always have a pro heat slant to them?

  3. davidly - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I doubt it. The Spurs have been using the time to run the kinds of drills to stay sharp on offense and using state of the art, low impact conditioning to stay in shape without wearing themselves out or risking injury.

  4. rodge1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM


    No, but he’s one of the few national writers that appreciates the Heat as a team and doesn’t blindly hate on them like most of the national media.

    • explosionsauce - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      LOL you act as if the Heat are some oppressed team. I find it to be quite the opposite.

  5. azarkhan - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    The 2-3-2 format favors team with home court advantage, so if the Spurs want to have any chance of winning the series, they will need to win one of the first two games in Miami, rusty or not.

  6. rodge1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM


    I never said they were oppressed. I said they are blindly hated by most media (all because of the ‘Decision’ and a pep-rally they had for the fans). Which is fine. Its more enjoyable for us in Miami to watch Skip Bayless, Michael Wilbon, Steven A Smith, and many others sit in silence as they have to swallow their predictions of Heat failure… Just trying to answer your question there sunshine.

    • explosionsauce - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      1. I feel sorry for you if you watch Skip and Stephen A.
      2. My question wasn’t directed at you, sunshine.

  7. bifford - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    One thing history has shown- The Spurs don’t make it to the finals and lose. Duncan’s going to hoist #5 in a few weeks.

  8. rodge1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM


    Don’t feel sorry for me, my team is in the Finals despite the haters’ wishes. And you’re right, the question wasn’t directed at me but I answered it.

  9. herkulease - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Why look back to 2001. There is evidence the spurs are likely to be rusty from this year alone.

    After sweeping the Lakers in 4 games. they had to wait 7 days before playing the Warriors. They were shooting about 40% or so for most of the game. That’s about 8% below season average.

    They needed an huge choke by the Warriors in the last 4 minutes to pull out the win in double overtime

    Not saying the Spurs will lose or anything. But Spurs will need to make up for offensive woes by playing defense and make the Heat work for their shots. Grind out the game.
    They can’t hope for a huge choke job to bail them out.

  10. ocgunslinger - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I hope Pop read this article otherwise he might not be aware of the layoff and it’s effect.

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