A Former San Antonio Spurs SF can give them ultimate gift

Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs are so close to the play-in tournament, they can almost taste it. Despite losing 128-116 to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, they got one step closer to securing the 10th seed with the help of the Dallas Mavericks.

With the Mavericks defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, only the Sacramento Kings have a chance to catch the Spurs' bid for the last spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Even still, it will take an awful lot of things going right for SacTown.

With Zion Williamson and the Pelicans out of the picture, the Spurs now need to either win one of their last three games or the Kings need to lose one of their last three. If any of those scenarios happen, that's a wrap on Sacramento as well.

Here are the remaining schedules of both the Spurs and Kings:

5/13 - @ NY
5/15 - vs. PHX
5/16 - vs. PHX

5/13 - @ MEM
5/14 - @ MEM
5/16 - vs. UTAH

If the San Antonio Spurs don't clinch, a former Spur could do it for them

Ideally, the Spurs would like to clinch their own spot in the play-in with a victory of their own. With three chances to do so, even against good teams, that shouldn't be too much to ask. It also would do well for their confidence to get at least a win or two to end the season.

But let's face it, you never really know what you're gonna get with this season's squad. After all, they did dominate a much better Phoenix Suns squad without DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and Patty Mills in April. But they've also been blown out by the Cavaliers.

In the worst-case scenario where San Antonio drops all three, they could still be bailed out with the help of one former Spur that's been thriving as of late.

San Antonio Spurs
Kyle Anderson / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Spurs gave Kyle Anderson his chance in the NBA the year they won the title. After developing and playing a solid four seasons in San Antonio, he's been with Memphis for the past three and is now having a career year.

While it shouldn't come to that, Anderson could be pivotal in knocking the Kings out of the picture for good. His Grizzlies have two home games against the Kings to get one win, and Kyle has been on fire in the last couple of weeks. Over the last eight games, Slo Mo is averaging 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. He's also shooting a blistering 43 percent from downtown.

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The Spurs did Kyle a solid in 2014. How about a little something in return? The tipoff for the Spurs versus Knicks is at 7:30 pm ET on Thursday while Anderson's Grizzlies will take on the Kings at 8 pm.