You know what they say about a good thing: Too much of it can be bad for you.
Since completing a sweep last Monday of their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz, the Spurs have faced the challenge of balancing rest with staying sharp during one of the longest postseason layoffs in the franchise's history.
Given how Spurs fever grips San Antonio during the playoffs, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the rest vs. rust question has been one of the hottest topics of conversations among the locals for most of the past week.
"We've done the best job we could under the circumstances to keep conditioning and to keep rhythm," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Those obviously are the two goals. But you never know until you get out there."
Eight days after winning their 14th consecutive game, the Spurs finally will "get out there" and begin the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs, the top seed in the Western Conference, went 2-1 against the No. 5 Clippers during the lockout-shortened season.
While the Spurs worked to keep their edge during the layoff with intense workouts that included physical scrimmages, the Clippers battled the Memphis Grizzlies in an exciting first-round series that went the distance.
Paul: Winning Game 7 on road a confidence booster
After losing Game 6 at home Friday night, the Clippers dusted themselves off and punched their ticket to San Antonio with an 82-72 victory in Memphis on Sunday.
Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul chuckled Monday when he was asked if he thought it's fair that his team won't have much time to recover from such a grueling series before facing the well-rested Spurs in Game 1.
"It's not about being fair," Paul said. "They did what they were supposed to do and took care of business early. They won four in a row and got a chance to rest, so it's not about fair right now."
The Clippers flew from Memphis to San Antonio on Sunday night, celebrating their stirring Game 7 victory before getting back to work Monday.
Coached by former Spurs guard Vinny Del Negro, who played two seasons for Popovich, the Clippers had a light workout early Monday afternoon at the AT&T Center.
Paul said winning a Game 7 on the road is a confidence booster for a franchise that has won only three playoff series in its 42-season history.
"I think it did a lot just because we knew going into the playoffs that if wanted to do anything special, we weren't going to have homecourt advantage in any series," Paul said. "We knew that we were going to start on the road and we showed that capability."
The Clippers rallied from a 27-point deficit on the road to beat the Grizzlies 99-98 in Game 1, and took a 3-1 lead in the series before Memphis won two in a row to force a Game 7.
Three Clippers starters playing through injuries
The health of Paul and All-Star forward Blake Griffin will be up front and center heading into Tuesday night's series opener. Paul has been slowed by a hip-flexor injury and Griffin has a sprained left knee that has limited him.
Then there's starting small forward Caron Butler, who has a fracture in his left hand, but also has continued playing.
"I'm feeling all right, as well as you can right about now," Paul said.
Griffin said he was determined to suit up for Game 1 despite being hobbled by the knee injury. Del Negro said he would make a decision after Tuesday morning's shootaround about Griffin's availability.
Although the Clippers are dinged physically and fighting fatigue, Paul made it clear they won't make excuses.
"Right now we're just focused on San Antonio," Paul said.
One of the Clippers' strengths during their series against Grizzlies was its bench. The Clippers' backups outscored the Memphis reserves 41-11 for the game and 27-3 in the fourth quarter.
Paul will go against friend Parker in key matchup
The series will feature two of the best point guards in pro basketball. Paul spoke highly of his counterpart, Tony Parker, who is also a close friend.
"T.P. is unbelievable," Paul said. "He's had an unbelievable season. He's a great friend of mine. We talk on a regular basis. He's just an overall great guy and great player, somebody I've always had fun competing against."
Paul said Parker texted him after the Clippers beat the Grizzlies on Sunday.
"He said, 'Congratulations. See you soon,'" Paul said. "We talk all the time."
Paul also has a warm relationship with Spurs forward Tim Duncan, a fellow Wake Forest alum.
"Timmy's been like a big brother to me," Paul said. "Timmy's one of the guys I look up to most, not only as a player but as a person. He's just a professional."
Paul was effusive in his praise of the Spurs, who have won four NBA championships.
"The Spurs are steady, always," Paul said. "I think it's funny to me to hear people talk about that they're old, but they win. They know how to play. They're going to be that way as long as they have Timmy, Tony and Manu (Ginobili)."
Spurs vs. Clippers schedule
Western Conference semifinals
Game 1: at San Antonio, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m.
Game 2: at San Antonio, Thursday, 8:30 p.m.
Game 3: at Los Angeles, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Game 4: at Los Angeles, Sunday, May 20, 9:30 p.m.
*Game 5: at San Antonio, Tuesday, May 22, time TBA
*Game 6: at Los Angeles, Friday, May 25, time TBA
*Game 7: at San Antonio, May 27, time TBA
* if necessary