The San Antonio Spurs might not make the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and it has Houston Rockets star Chris Paul confused.
With Tuesday’s win vs. the Orlando Magic, the San Antonio Spurs moved from No. 10 to 9 in the Western Conference standings. It’s still out of the playoff picture, but a minor improvement from where the situation seemed to be, 24 hours after a loss to the Houston Rockets.
The Spurs lost back-to-back-to-back games on the road, falling to the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Rockets in a span of five days. This tumbled the Silver and Black down the standings, as they once had the No. 3 spot just weeks ago.
No playoff spot for San Antonio, especially this late in the season, is unusual for the NBA. Rockets star Chris Paul, who faced them in recent postseasons, feels it’s “strange” that the playoff picture looks this way, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (h/t The Big Lead):
Chris Paul on Spurs being out of playoff picture at this point: “It is strange, but without Kawhi, that’s tough. That’s tough. They’ve missed a number of guys, but if anybody is going to find a way, Pop will find a way.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 13, 2018
It’s a unique situation, as the Spurs have made the playoffs in each season since 1997-98, the first year Tim Duncan was on the team. After that, different groups that included him, David Robinson Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard reached the postseason, resulting in five championships, all under head coach Gregg Popovich. That’s after claiming one of the top four seeds, too.
Instead, it’s the Rockets in the driver’s seat, something Paul rarely saw with the Los Angeles Clippers, who never finished No. 1 in his time there. They never got out fo the second round, either, something he and James Harden will attempt to change this spring.
There’s still time and the Spurs can reach the postseason, but it’s realistic to think they will not. Just 14 games remain to get this situation sorted out, so what will happen in the season’s final weeks?