The San Antonio Spurs made the 2018 NBA Playoffs, but who could they face in a handful of scenarios?
On Monday night, the San Antonio Spurs clinched a playoff spot for the 21st consecutive season with a win over the Sacramento Kings. The journey was not smooth, but it still resulted in a postseason spot that will see the Spurs challenge for their sixth championship in franchise history.
While the Silver and Black secured their entry, their seed remains in flux. They can finish at No. 4, No. 8, or somewhere in between. A homecourt matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers is even possible. It’s a similar situation with other Western Conference teams and should make for an intriguing final few days of the season.
How can the Spurs finish at No. 4? What about No. 8? Let’s look at some of their seeding scenarios.
If the Spurs win their final game of the season, they can finish as the four seed. However, that’s pending the Utah Jazz lose their final two games of the season. The Jazz own the season series over San Antonio (3-1), which becomes the tiebreaker if both teams have the same record.
The same thing applies from above, except it includes the Jazz winning one of their final two games. Either way, it sets up a matchup between Utah and the Spurs in Round 1 if the latter team walks out victoriously.
The Spurs currently sit at No. 6, but this is where the situation muddies. It would take a loss to the Pelicans, an Oklahoma City Thunder downfall to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves to top the Denver Nuggets.
A loss to the Pelicans, a Thunder win over the Grizzlies and a Timberwolves win over the Nuggets drop the Spurs to No. 7. This means a matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
A loss to the Pelicans, a Thunder win over the Grizzlies and a Nuggets win over the Timberwolves slides the Spurs to No. 8. That sets up a date with the Houston Rockets.
The Spurs will be in the NBA Playoffs for the 21st consecutive season. pic.twitter.com/pYbtHWqVFz
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 10, 2018
Blazers Edge noted a more complicated way the Spurs and Blazers can play each other where seeding does not matter:
Here’s the memo from the league explaining that home-court advantage is decided by head-to-head regular season record when teams with identical wins face off in the playoffs. This is similar to the scenario in 2015 when the Blazers snagged the fourth seed by virtue of their division championship but seeded home-court advantage to the Grizzlies who had won more games in the regular season.
In short, if the Blazers and Spurs play each other in the first round and both teams have 48 wins the Spurs will have home-court advantage, regardless of seeding.
The seeding can get more complicated than this, but it’s an outline of what could happen. So, where will the San Antonio Spurs finish?