Spurs, Thunder schedules at a glance

By Quixem Ramirez

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 StateTue, Apr. 17 @ LAL*Wed, Apr. 18 @ SacramentoFri, Apr. 20 vs LAL*Sun, Apr. 22 vs ClevelandMon, Apr. 23 vs PortlandWed, 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 TorontoMon, Apr. 9 @ Milwaukee*Wed, Apr. 11 vs Los Angeles Clippers**Fri, Apr. 13 vs. Sacramento KingsSat, Apr. 14 @ MinnesotaMon, Apr. 16 @ LAC**Wed, Apr. 18 @ Phoenix*Fri, Apr. 20 @ SacramentoSun, Apr. 22 @ Los Angeles Lakers**Tue, Apr. 24 vs SacramentoWed, 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.