With the San Antonio Spurs’ latest win, the Western Conference looks different and features more positive developments.
With Monday’s win over the depleted Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs made it four consecutive victories. All were must-win scenarios, starting with last week’s game vs. the Orlando Magic. The New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves followed, both of whom are potential playoff teams that the Spurs could face.
Another successful night puts the Silver and Black one step closer to a secure playoff spot. They went into the Warriors matchup at No. 7, but with the same record (40-30) as the No. 5 Utah Jazz and No. 6 Pelicans. The differences came down to tiebreakers.
At 41-30, there’s more space for San Antonio to maneuver. A postseason spot is not guaranteed, but each win, and loss by other teams, move the situation in the right direction.
How do the standings look for Mar. 20? Let’s take a look:
West standings as of 3/20 pic.twitter.com/znoBjW6eXq
— Rob Wolkenbrod (@RealRobWolkey) March 20, 2018
The Denver Nuggets’ loss provided more separation between No. 8 and 9, which only helps the Spurs, who sit at No. 5, in case of an extra loss or two. It’s not ideal, but there’s breathing room for another losing streak.
As for the playoff matchup, the No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder sit in position for a series against the Spurs. Despite the gap with the Portland Trail Blazers, the Spurs can still reach No. 3 — just with another winning streak and a handful of losses from the former. Otherwise, the ceiling is No. 4 — fewer than two games away. A difficult schedule remains, so can this team reach the middle of the pack and avoid the playoff line?
There are 11 games to clean things up in the Alamo City and receive a postseason series. Whether it’s against the Pelicans, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Houston Rockets, given how the situation appeared eight days ago, it will be a success, especially without Kawhi Leonard.