Unlike the Clippers, the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs made short work of their first-round playoff opponent, sweeping the Utah Jazz in business-like fashion to stretch their current winning streak to 14 games.
But Sunday, Spurs standout guard Tony Parker was quick to acknowledge that the Clippers and Jazz are “two different teams” that “you can’t even compare.”
Speaking to reporters after the team’s practice, Parker and his teammates could finally discuss the next opponent following the Clippers' 82-72 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 on Sunday, and many echoed common concern about the Clippers' array of good shooters.
“They’re more like transition, fastbreak, lobs; it’s very different than Utah,” Parker said. “Utah, everything was in the paint. They didn’t have a lot of shooters.”
After watching the Clippers' Game 7 victory, many of the Spurs were full of praise for their next opponent. San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili agreed with Parker, saying that the Clippers' outside shooting will prevent the Spurs from playing as much help defense as they did against the Jazz.
Noting Chris Paul as “a point guard who creates for everybody,” strong post players like Blake Griffin, and the good outside shooters, Ginobili called the Clippers a “complete team.”
“They are a team that plays hard,” Ginobili said. “After watching the [Memphis] series you really can tell that.”
The Clippers come into the Western Conference semifinals shooting 35% from three-point range in the playoffs. The team is led in that department by guard Nick Young, who has hit 10 of 19 three-pointers during the first round. None was bigger than the one he sank early in the fourth quarter Sunday to help spark an 11-2 run that would help send the Clippers to San Antonio.
The Spurs, meanwhile, have waited patiently for the Clippers for a week.
“It’s going to be a tough matchup for us,” Spurs guard Gary Neal said. “We expect that.”
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