For the San Antonio Spurs, the playoffs are about maintaining the right balance.
That being said, the Spurs still have deep concerns about facing the Clippers on Sunday in Game 4 here, knowing the 2-1 lead San Antonio earned from a throttling of Los Angeles in Game 3 doesn't mean the best-of-seven series is a foregone conclusion.
"We can still lose this series," Manu Ginobili said after San Antonio's practice Saturday. "It can easily happen. But we know we are the same [team] that won last year. We can do it again. But there's no sense of so high or so low."
If anything, being the defending NBA champions has shown the Spurs how difficult it can be to win a series.
So just because they beat the Clippers by 27 points and because Kawhi Leonard was a force in scoring a playoff career-high 32 points, doesn't mean the Spurs will win the next game.
"Everything went our way. Sometimes it happens," Ginobili said about Game 3. "The important thing now is to react well, to not get arrogant or think that now we have them. Because it's not even close. They're going to be hurt, they're going to be upset, they're going to come back hard, the same way we came back from Game 1 to 2. We're going to have to play with the same intensity and hopefully make adjustments."
The Spurs can look back to last season in the playoffs, when they were the No. 1 overall seed and had to play seven games before beating the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
"We all understand that in the playoffs, it's a long process," Tony Parker said. "It takes forever. And every game is its own game, and they are all different. We know that things can change real fast. We've been through every kind of scenario since I've been here. You just have to stay focused and make sure you take one game at a time."
Parker feeling better
Parker spent much of Saturday getting treatment on the injuries to his right Achilles' tendon, left ankle and left thigh.
Now he is hoping to get his game back on track.
Though he's averaging 5.7 points on 25% shooting through the first three games, Parker said he won't change his approach on offense after having a conversation with Coach Gregg Popovich before practice Saturday.
"Obviously, it has to do with my Achilles' and my ankle, because sometimes I don't feel the same lift," Parker said. "But as long as I'm aggressive, that's all he wants. He wants me to be in attack mode. He doesn't really care if it goes in or if it doesn't go in. He would rather that it goes in, but as long as I'm aggressive.…"
Having Danny Green and Leonard taking turns defending Chris Paul has helped Parker not have to extend on defense as much.
"It's great that we can alternate, give him different looks," Parker said. "Kawhi, Danny, me, we're all doing different stuff. I think over the course of a series, it can help."
Tim Duncan turned 39 Saturday. Parker said his gift to Duncan is "trying to get a win for him" Sunday.