The San Antonio Spurs should be one of the teams going to Orlando
After weeks of speculation, the NBA is closing in on a defined plan to resume play. Right now we only have a few details and plans have yet to be finalized pending a vote tomorrow but it looks like the San Antonio Spurs will be one of the 22 teams heading to Orlando for the final stretch of the season.
As is typical with NBA news it was Adrian Wojnarowski who was one of the first to report the news. From what we’ve heard so far it sounds like there will be a play-in tournament to decide the final playoff spot. There will be eight regular-season games to decide the 8th and 9th seeds in each respective conference. If the 9th seeded team is within four games of the 8th seeded team the two would enter into a play-in series for the final playoff spot.
What does a play-in tournament look like for San Antonio Spurs
The tournament will be single elimination style for teams in the 9th seed and double elimination for the team in the 8th seed. In theory, there is a possibility that the Spurs could climb back into the next ’round’ of the playoffs but they’ll need to be at their absolute best for these regular-season games that will give them a chance to play in a play-in game for the playoffs.
The eight regular-season games that the teams will play are going to be critical for the Spurs. As they’re currently four spots outside of the 8th seed they’re going to have to be on their absolute best for these 8 contests. Each one will need to be essentially treated like a single-elimination game. San Antonio has one of the smallest windows in the league to make it into that play-in tournament, if they lose even one game it could drastically hinder their chances of making it into the playoffs.
Of the other teams in the play-in tournament, only Portland can field as many high-impact players who have played in as many high-pressure games as the members of the Spurs have. With these regular games taking place in an absolute pressure cooker of an environment, with very little time to prepare, the cool-headed veterans of the San Antonio Spurs will have the edge over teams like Sacramento, Memphis, and New Orleans who will be heavily reliant on players who will be making their first near playoff appearances.
There are still a lot of details to be nailed down. Who will be coaching the Spurs, what will the teams’ strategy be, what will the exact structure of the play-in tournament look like? All are key pieces in putting together a detailed picture of what the return to play will look like.
Buckle in Spurs fans, there’s going to be a lot more exciting news coming out over the next two months. But the good news is that the NBA should be coming back on July 31st.