Are the Spurs ready for the Wild West Playoffs?
By Ivan Mora
Are the Spurs ready for this Wild West playoffs? Its hasn’t been an easy task for these good old Spurs lately but they just seem to dominate when it matters the most. More than a month after that awful Rodeo Road trip that plagued them this year, the Spurs couldn’t be happier that that’s in the past now. A now newly reinvigorated Spurs team are back on track and have found themselves on the winning side of a hot streak as they are 9-3 since coming back home after that road trip.
I feel that their first losing rodeo trip in years prepped them for whats to come. It’s not like they haven’t been there before, but now it seems they are on the bottom half of the bracket instead of glancing down at their next targets. In the past 4 years the Spurs have been #1 in the Western conference three times and just shy of first once in the 2013 playoffs. It seems that regardless of their momentum and confidence heading into the NBA playoffs, they always seemed to have that much needed and aspired home-court advantage that helped them earn that extra boost for the ride.
Mar 25, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forwardKawhi Leonard
(2) shoots the ball as Oklahoma City Thunder point guardRussell Westbrook
(left) and centerSteven Adams
(12) defend during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
In the past they always seemed to have up and downs, like any other team, but were never shy to face that tough obstacle and wiggle their way into a top 4 seed. In fact its been 5 years exactly since they’ve yet to see the bottom half of the west marking all the way back to 2010 when they were 7th seed facing a very tough Mavericks team and then eventually being ousted by the Phoenix Suns. That doesn’t seem that long ago in the NBA but it’s something we have grown to ignore.
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Since then, the big 3 (Tony Parker, Tim Duncan & Manu Ginobili) have learned to adapt with their role players and are now a very dangerous team to face and one no one should have to endure first round. But, with all that said and done, this years changed quite a bit and their conference is probably at their peak of competitiveness that it’s become close to impossible to predict a clear winner. The Wild Wild West has every NBA fan scratching their heads with so many unpredictable games that have come down to the wire on suspenseful nights. Could that affect their chances at their first ever back to back titles?
Well this recent month has begged to differ and their stats speak for themselves. After their most dominating performance of the year, the Spurs showed their resiliency and extreme toughness when they ousted the Thunder by one of their largest margins of the season with a 39 point victory in their 130-91 game last night. Now yes, the Thunder are short-handed right now with the absence of KD, but that hasn’t stopped them from competing for that last spot in the Western Conference. This is a Thunder team that had won four in a row and 15 of its last 20 games and even with that the Spurs absolutely destroyed them and left clear evidence that they’re no threat to them.
Since mid February, the Spurs have raised their offensive efficiency to 113.1, are averaging 50% FG range, and have an assist to turnover ratio of 2.0 via ESPN Stats and Info. It is turning out to be their best month yet and the season is still not over yet. As the Spurs currently stand they have a 45-26 record, 2 games behind Clippers and one game ahead of Dallas in the 6th spot of the Conference, and can’t afford to slow down right now. They are clicking on all cylinders now and want nothing more than to prove to the rest that regardless of their seeding, they are still the NBA defending champions. And more than anything they still are possibly the biggest threat out in that Wild Wild West.