San Antonio Spurs playoff seeding tiebreaker scenarios
The San Antonio Spurs are in a very tight race to determine playoff seeding in the bottom half of the Western Conference. Here are their tiebreaking scenarios with each team.
The San Antonio Spurs have had an up-and-down year, but they are about where we expected them to be in the standings as we near the NBA Playoffs.
As of the afternoon of April 4th, the Spurs sit in eighth place in the Western Conference standings with one more loss than the seventh-place Oklahoma City Thunder.
Obviously every team in the West wants to avoid the eighth seed, which will likely match up with the Warriors in the first round. Given San Antonio’s history with Golden State in the postseason, it would be pretty hard to get excited about seeing them in the playoffs again this year.
Another incentive for teams at the bottom half of the standings is positioning themselves to avoid Houston and match up with the Denver Nuggets, who the Spurs could possibly upset in the first round due to many factors.
With the Spurs jockeying for position with the Thunder and Clippers for the six, seven, and eight spots in the West, let’s check in on how those teams’ tiebreaker scenarios would work out.
Next: Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder
It looks like the Spurs and Thunder will be the seventh and eighth seeds in the West, but the difference between those two spots in the standings is massive considering one team would have to play Golden State and the other could possibly match up with the seemingly vulnerable Nuggets.
San Antonio sits a half-game back of Oklahoma City at this point in time, but the Spurs have three games left in the regular season while the Thunder have four.
Fortunately for the Spurs, the Thunder play three playoff teams in their final four games whereas San Antonio doesn’t have a single game remaining against a team above .500.
If these two teams finish the season with the same record, the Spurs would win the tiebreaker with the deciding game being San Antonio’s epic double overtime win against Oklahoma City earlier this season.
Hopefully the Spurs will finish above the Thunder in the standings, but it’s nice to have that tiebreaker in their back pocket if it comes down to it after all is said and done.
Next: Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers
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The Clippers are two games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference standings, but San Antonio could conceivably pass them considering the two teams’ remaining opponents.
As we mentioned earlier, the Spurs don’t have another playoff team remaining on their schedule. While San Antonio has had trouble playing down to their competition this season, that should give them an advantage over the Clippers who still have to play the Warriors and Jazz in the final two games of the regular season.
If the Spurs can take care of business with three wins in their final three games and the Clippers lose to Golden State and Utah, San Antonio could find themselves in a tie with Los Angeles in the standings.
The Spurs and Clippers split their four regular season meetings with a record of 2-2 against each other, so the next tiebreaker in this situation would be conference winning percentage.
San Antonio is 29-22 against the West this year with the Dallas Mavericks being their only conference opponent left on the schedule.
The Clippers sit at 27-22 against conference opponents with games against the Lakers, Warriors, and Jazz remaining.
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If the Spurs can beat Dallas and the Clippers lose any of their remaining games, San Antonio would claim that all-important tiebreaker if it comes down to it.