After the Thunder’s five-point loss at the hands of the third seeded Indiana Pacers and the Spurs dominating 128-103 victory over the New Orleans Hornets, OKC and San Antonio are tied for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs currently hold the No. 1 seed via their 2-1 head-to-head lead over the Thunder.
With just about three weeks to play in this truncated NBA season, here are their respective schedules.
* = fringe playoff team (2 GB or less of eighth seed).
** = current playoff team.
San Antonio Spurs.
Sun, Apr. 8 vs Utah*
Mon, Apr. 9 @ Utah*
Wed, Apr. 11 vs Los Angeles Lakers**
Thu, Apr. 12 vs Memphis**
Sat, Apr. 14 vs Phoenix*
Mon, Apr. 16 @ Golden State
Tue, Apr. 17 @ LAL*
Wed, Apr. 18 @ Sacramento
Fri, Apr. 20 vs LAL*
Sun, Apr. 22 vs Cleveland
Mon, Apr. 23 vs Portland
Wed, Apr. 25 @ Phoenix*
Thu, Apr. 26 @ Golden State
— San Antonio has 13 games remaining (7 home, 6 away).
— Four against playoff teams (Lakers 3x, Grizzlies).
— Four against fringe playoff teams (Jazz 2x, Suns 2x).
— Set of back-to-backs: Five (including one back-to-back-to-back).
— Key stretch: Apr. 16- Apr. 18. That marks the Spurs’ second set of back-to-back-to-backs, all of which come on the road.
— Average W-L record of opponents: 27-28.
— Games/day: 0.68
Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sun, Apr. 8 vs Toronto
Mon, Apr. 9 @ Milwaukee*
Wed, Apr. 11 vs Los Angeles Clippers**
Fri, Apr. 13 vs. Sacramento Kings
Sat, Apr. 14 @ Minnesota
Mon, Apr. 16 @ LAC**
Wed, Apr. 18 @ Phoenix*
Fri, Apr. 20 @ Sacramento
Sun, Apr. 22 @ Los Angeles Lakers**
Tue, Apr. 24 vs Sacramento
Wed, Apr. 25 vs Denver**
— Oklahoma City has 11 games remaining (5 home, 6 away).
— Four games against playoff teams (Clippers 2x, Lakers, Nuggets).
— Two games against fringe playoff teams (Bucks, Suns).
— Set of back-to-backs: Three.
— Key stretch: Apr. 14- Apr. 22. The Thunder embark on a five game road trip in nine days and two of those are against the Clippers and Lakers, not including fringe playoff teams like Phoenix.
— Average W-L records of opponents: 26-29.
— Games/day: 0.61
Takeaways. The Spurs have a much more difficult schedule than the Thunder. First off, they have more games. They also have two extra back-to-backs, two extra games against fringe playoff teams and they don’t get the benefit of playing the Kings three times. Given Gregg Popovich’s track record and our arduous schedule, I don’t expect the Spurs to hold the No. 1 seed as a huge priority. Health and continuity are much more important.