With the 2022 Rodeo Road Trip completed, the San Antonio Spurs will play 11 of their final 18 contests of the season back home in the friendly confines of the AT&T Center.
Sitting at 24-40 and 12th in the Western Conference, the Spurs sit just 3.5 games behind the Pelicans for the final play-in spot. The race for the 10th seed out West remains a tight contest, so the Spurs will have to take advantage of every opportunity if they're to have a chance of securing it.
Head coach Gregg Popovich is two victories away from breaking the all-time wins record, which he'll likely reach in this upcoming homestand. Here are my predictions for the how the Spurs will fare over the next seven games.
March 7 vs Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled mightily all season, especially in the last month. Since February 8th, they're 2-7 with losses to the Blazers, Pelicans, and Clippers (x2). We've seen how LeBron James can help flip the switch for them, but one player can only do so much. It's also pretty well-documented that Gregg Popovich isn't exactly a big fan of the Lakers. I think he'll have his guys on their A-game for this one, and the Spurs will snap their four-game losing streak. Homestand record: 1-0
March 9 vs Raptors
Toronto has been riding the play of first-time All-Star Fred VanVleet this season, holding the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. Back on January 4th, the Raptors beat San Antonio in the first meeting of the two teams this season, 129-104. The Spurs were playing without Dejounte Murray. With Toronto currently on a three-game losing skid after dropping Sunday night's contest in Cleveland, I like the Spurs to take advantage of having their own All-Star in the lineup this time around and win their second in a row. Homestand record: 2-0
March 11 vs Jazz
Arguably one of San Antonio's biggest wins of the season came on December 17 against the Jazz. They pulled out a close 128-126 win in Salt Lake City on a high-degree-of-difficulty Lonnie Walker IV layup over the outstretched arms of one Rudy Gobert. Utah endured a bit of a rough midseason stretch where they lost 12 of 16, but they've since returned to their early-season form.
Winning 10 of their last 12, the Jazz are averaging 114.8 points per contest in that stretch. Their offense will once again pose a formidable challenge, and I think the Spurs come up short in this one. Homestand record: 2-1
March 12 vs Pacers
The Spurs came out of their first meeting with Indiana with one of their ugliest losses of the season back on November 1st. The Pacers look a little different now with Tyrese Haliburton running the show. He's been fantastic since arriving in Indianapolis, averaging 19.0 points and 9.3 assists per contest.
With this game being played less than 24 hours after the Utah game begins, you'd think the Spurs would be at a disadvantage, and they'll certainly be a little tired. But San Antonio holds a 6-5 record in second nights of a back-to-back this season. I have them taking home the victory here. Homestand record: 3-1
March 14 vs Timberwolves
When these two teams met on November 18, Jakob Poeltl was out of the starting lineup. As a result, Drew Eubanks was left with the tall task of matching up with Karl-Anthony Towns. No one can really blame him for surrendering 25 points and 12 rebounds to KAT, but Jakob Poeltl should be more equipped to handle that matchup this time around.
The Wolves are another play-in team that's been playing good ball as of late, winning 12 of their last 16. They're just two games back of Denver for the sixth seed. I see this one being close to the end, with the Wolves coming away with the win. Homestand record: 3-2
March 16 vs Thunder
The Thunder have had some bright spots in their season, but it's clearly another developmental year for their youngsters. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been terrific again, and Josh Giddey has come on the scene as easily the best passing rookie, winning four straight rookie of the month honors.
Dejounte Murray will probably have a little extra motivation in this one, as his playstyle is frequently compared with that of Gilgeous-Alexander. This will be the final of four meetings between San Antonio and Oklahoma City this season, and I think the Spurs pull it together to take down an inferior opponent. Homestand record: 4-2
March 18 vs Pelicans
Finishing out the homestand versus a division rival, the Pelicans have had anything but a normal season. With Zion Williamson sidelined since day one and injuries to other rotation players like Brandon Ingram, they've had a hard time building consistency. But with the addition of CJ McCollum at the trade deadline, they've started to turn somewhat of a corner.
After winning four of their last five and taking town Phoenix on the road, there's no doubt they're hoping to further distance themselves from the Spurs and Blazers in the standings. I think the seven-game homestand ends with a close loss to the Pels.
Final homestand record: 4-3