Since I started writing for Air Alamo, the San Antonio Spurs have lost just one game.
Thanks to a San Antonio record 19-game (regular season) winning streak, the Spurs are looking at the first seed in the Western Conference, as well as home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
They currently stand at 59-17 through Saturday’s games, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are breathing down their necks at 55-20. The next closest teams have 23 losses already (Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat), so it would take an absolute collapse for either of them to be able to claim the best record in the NBA.
With only six games left to play (seven for the Thunder), it will be interesting to see who ends the season as the top seed, but there are a few factors we must consider.
Firstly, the Thunder are much more concerned with seeding than the Spurs. Typically, Coach Pop has forgone a win or two towards the end of the season in order to rest his key players.
This could easily be the case this season, as San Antonio face a few toughies before the end of the year. Also, given that the Spurs have the league’s best road record so far this season (29-9), having the higher seed is less of an incentive to them.
The other factors in play are the Thunder’s record against San Antonio this season (4-0), and the difficulty of the remaining games. The fact that the Thunder own the tie breaker means that they only need to equal the Spurs’ record, not best it, in order to claim the top seed. That means the Thunder need the Spurs to lose 3 more games than them in order to catch up.
That’s not good news for San Antonio, because they have a much harder run-in with all but one of their games against potential Western Conference playoff teams.
Lets take a look at the specific opponents each team will have to play.
**All stats courtesy of ESPN.com