No time to panic here as the Spurs have come back to full form. They came back from a horrendous Rodeo Road trip, the first losing one in years, to bounce back to perfection just like they usually do. Now they have climbed the rankings, a small bump, but a positive one nonetheless, passing the Mavericks to stand alone as the # 6 seed in the West. That won’t last as there are still 20 games left in their season, but with that in mind where will our Spurs end up once the season ends April 15th?
Mar 4, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts at the bench against the Sacramento Kings at the AT&T Center. Spurs won 112 to 85. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
They have been on a roll lately and they aren’t showing signs of slowing down. On a game where Duncan, for the first time in his 18th season career, ended the game without a field goal, the Spurs started playing with a familiar feel that quickly ended our concerns and uncertainties following that rodeo trip. A rollercoaster ride that saw a rare downfall for these Spurs as they endured a four-game losing streak, only to quickly turn it around with a strong five-game winning performance, including a dominant victory to the Rose-less Bulls on Sunday afternoon.
Not only that, but the style and dominance they portrayed in these last couple of games have really shined a new light and proved that when the going gets tough, these Spurs are well-groomed.
A month ago, the Spurs looked like they were destined to finish in the last spot in the West with Oklahoma City quickly crawling behind them. Now it is a totally different tale. Regardless of Westrbrook’s MVP caliber performances, in which we’ve witnessed four straight triple doubles, I don’t think they have it in them to keep up such consistency to tie these Spurs up, let alone pass them up. What Leonard and Parker both have proved post-Rodeo Trip have given everyone hope that their upbeat, quick, run-and-gun play is still there. They haven’t lost their touch.
Standing with a 39-23 record and eyeing the fifth-seeded Clippers, the Spurs are not only capable of passing them up but can also surprise the West and end up above the top-five. Ten of their next 20 games are against top championship contenders that can still cause them trouble while the remaining 10 almost seem like a lock in their books. They are five games behind Memphis who stand as the two-seed with a 44-18 record. That doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch considering how they’ve been playing lately. It all depends if this tenacious squad can keep it up.
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The reality of it all seems like they will more than likely stay with either the fifth or sixth seed come April, but, that doesn’t mean they won’t try their best for a better seed and potentially home court advantage. With how the Spurs play at home, that is definitely the upper hand they could use to protect their fate throughout the postseason. San Antonio is 23-7 at home compared to a below normal 16-16 road record. The season is by no means over and if they continue their upswing momentum they have right now, the Spurs could be looking at a more favorable playoff position come April.
With the loss of Wesley Matthews for the season, the Clippers won’t be the only team on the Spurs radar in the next couple of weeks. They are only one game behind Los Angeles and two games behind Portland in the most crucial part of the season. It seems like the Spurs most important part of their journey is about to begin as well as its most difficult. My prediction for the remainder of the season is that San Antonio does slip into the fourth-seed based on their previous games, setting themselves up for a first-round matchup with the Trailblazers. It won’t be easy but it will give us a reminder that these Spurs are resilient and, more than anything, are ready for the final stretch. The doubts that these Spurs might finish dead last with the eighth-seed are now a thing of the past as they seem well-adjusted and have their rhythm back at the perfect time. They are just getting started as the playoffs come into sight.