A loss by San Antonio and victories by the
"You probably never want to play the Spurs in the first round if you had your choice," Clippers forward
The Clippers probably didn't regain their appetites after Houston polished off the
When the Grizzlies held off the
The series will feature two of the NBA's hottest teams. The Clippers have won 14 of 15 games and the Spurs 14 of 16. The teams split their four regular-season meetings, though the Clippers won the last two.
When it comes to the teams' playoff pedigree, it's no contest. San Antonio has advanced to the Western Conference finals or
The Spurs swept the Clippers in four games in the conference semifinals in 2012.
The Clippers enter the playoffs with one of the top starting fives in the NBA but perhaps the most lackluster bench. The same reserves who helped the Clippers outscore the
Rivers said he wasn't worried about his underperforming reserves in the playoffs because they would always be on the court with at least one or two starters.
"What you've seen all year is five [reserves] on the floor," Rivers said Tuesday. "Everybody knows that's not going to happen in the playoffs. That's why I keep hearing about our bench and I'm like, we'll be fine."
Beyond Clippers sixth man Jamal Crawford, who figures to log plenty of playing time, there probably will be only spot minutes for
"There's going to be some sacrifice because some guys aren't going to get the minutes they're used to or very many minutes at all," Clippers forward Matt Barnes said, "but we know our ultimate goal is to win a championship, so that's the sacrifice people have to make."
Rivers said his starters could handle playing heavier minutes than they had in the regular season because of longer timeouts during games and at least one day of rest between games.
"There will be a game that Chris Paul may have to play 44 minutes, and there will be a game where he can play 35," Rivers said. "You don't worry about it."
Unfortunately for the Clippers, they do have to fret about the Spurs.