Likely contenders for seeds nine and 10: Kings, Grizzlies
The Sacramento Kings may not have looked good against the Spurs recently, but I still think they'll win enough to at least be in the conversation for the 10th spot by April. They're a dynamic offensive team with multiple talented guards and a rising defensive standout in Davion Mitchell.
The Memphis Grizzlies, meanwhile, should end up being a better defensive team than their current rating (27th) shows, and Ja Morant is morphing from a star to a superstar before our eyes.
I see both of these teams possibly ending up with similar records to the Spurs by the time the play-in tournament comes around. For now, they're the two teams to monitor the most early in the season.
We'll know much more about these teams as we get closer to the All-Star break. As with any semi-rebuilding team, there are still several questions for each of them to address as they figure out a way to make a name for themselves in the West.
Still, the Spurs can avoid having to face tough must-wins late in the season if they keep building on the habits they've established early on. They've been competitive in almost every game so far, and eventually the results should start to show that.