Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk — 3rd (2nd in West)
“They remain one game back of the Thunder for the top seed in the West, but while the Thunder need that spot the Spurs couldn’t care less. With a back-to-back-to-back this week (Lakers are middle game Tuesday) expect some Spurs stars to sit.”
I completely agree with the notion that the Spurs asbolutely need home court advantage to go deep into the playoffs. Remember their awful 2-8 start on the road? I certainly don’t; the Spurs have gone 16-3 in their last 19 road games. If you want to go any further, the Spurs have beaten the Grizzlies (2x), 76ers, Clippers, Nuggets, Thunder and the Celtics on the road. Not too shabby.
John Hollinger, ESPN.com — 1st (1st in West)
Mike Monroe, Spurs Nation — 3rd (2nd in West)
“Guessing game: Which of the three games in three nights this week will be played without the Big Three?”
Preferably none. The 21-point victory over the Warriors was beneficial because, with the Thunder loss, it gave the Spurs a good shot at grabbing the No. 1 seed. But, not only that, the win also was beneficial because of the minute amount of effort the Spurs gives the Spurs leeway to play the Big Three less frugally.
John Schumann, NBA.com — 3rd (2nd in West)
“Did the Spurs punt away the No. 1 seed in the West by leaving their big three at home on Monday, or by getting crushed on the glass by Andrew Bynum and the Kobe-less Lakers two nights later? They have a road back-to-back-to-back this week, so expect more rest for their stars as they settle into the No. 2 spot.”
Nope. Not really. The Spurs still have a much tougher schedule than OKC but their head-to-head tiebreaker will always keep them firmly entrenched in the race for the No. 1 seed.
Chris Sheridan, Sheridan Hoops — 2nd (1st in West)
“We’ll see whether the top spot in the West means anything to them (they claim it doesn’t) when we see who sits and who plays in the road back-to-back-to-back to start the work week: Monday at Warriors, Tuesday at Lakers, Wednesday at Kings. Regardless of whether they finish No. 1 or No. 2, I have changed my preseason pick (Oklahoma City) and now believe these guys are coming out of the West. Three reasons: Depth, poise and experience.”
It’s April 18th and I’m still a bit shocked at the amount of success the Spurs are having. Even the most irrational Spurs fans probably couldn’t fathom the quality of basketball — at least offensively — that the Spurs are playing.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com — 3rd (2nd in West)
“Pop holds a narrow lead over Thibodeau and Doc Rivers in another ridiculous COY race with what might be his best-ever coaching job. Even if the Spurs don’t snag the West’s No. 1 seed — and even after the Kobe-less Lakers humbled them at home — he still has ‘em at a level no one envisioned. No one.”
Gregg Popovich has been in the league 17 years and he still manages to amaze me on a nightly basis. I believe Pop has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reasons for our prolonged streak of excellence. Admittedly, that’s not saying anything insightful and it could be an understatement on one of the most prestigious resumes in basketball history. No NBA team, or coach, stacks up favorably in this regard. Pop for Coach of the Year sounds awfully nice, don’t you think?
Tom Ziller, SB Nation — 1st (1st in West)
“The Spurs have a revenge match against the Lakers on Tuesday, but it still doesn’t matter. Nothing matters for the Spurs until April 28 or 29, when their playoff quest for one more ring with Tim Duncan begins. So long as the team enters healthy and with a modicum of freshness, they will be a daunting task for any and all West contenders. That’s all that matters.”
The anticipation is killing me! Only 10 (or 11) more days left …
Composite ranking: 2nd (2nd in West)