San Antonio -- 23 games. That’s all that’s left between the Spurs and this year’s NBA playoffs. In many ways, 23 games doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s still over a fourth of the season. I hear this question a lot—How do you think the Spurs are going to do? Well, hard to answer with a fourth of the season left.
That said, here’s a rough (and not entirely scientific) guess at how the rest of the regular season will play out.
1st: vs. Sacramento WIN (no way the Spurs lose 2 in a row at home to bad teams)
3rd: vs. Detroit WIN
6th: vs. Chicago WIN (good team but the Spurs will have 3 days to prepare)
8th: vs. Portland WIN (but with OKC on the horizon, a loss wouldn’t shock)
11th: vs. OKC WIN (gut call)
12th: vs. Minnesota LOSS (they have to lose sometime)
--Something to watch: Does Pop play Tim/Manu against OKC and rest against Minnesota, or does he flip-flop that? He’s been known to sit guys in marquee games.
14th: vs. Dallas WIN
16: vs. Cleveland WIN
--Something to watch: Who knew watching Kyrie Irving would be worth price of admission this soon?
20: vs. Golden State LOSS (3 days off, chalk it up to rust)
22: vs. Utah WIN
24: at Houston LOSS (better than we thought they’d be)
27: vs. Denver LOSS (I’d also flip this if they beat Golden State on 20th)
29: vs. LA Clippers WIN (better Clipper showing than rodeo trip but too much TP9)
31: vs. Miami WIN (message delivered)
--Something to watch: Heat rest their stars? It’s not TNT game, but is on NBA TV.
1st: at Memphis LOSS (their message delivered. Grizz use little brother complex well)
3rd: vs. Orlando WIN
4th: at OKC LOSS (payback for March-and preview of WCF)
6th: vs. Atlanta WIN
10th: at Denver LOSS (means more to them this late in season than Spurs)
12th: vs. Sacramento WIN (why does it seem like Spurs played Kings 10 times?)
14th at LA Lakers WIN
--Something to watch: Spurs shutdown Forum in '99, playoff hopes in '13
15th at Golden State LOSS (mills, diaw, baynes, bonner, neal—fans choose starting 5)
17th: vs. Minnesota WIN (60 wins means more than anybody will admit)
That leaves the Spurs with a final record of 60-22.
Not bad for a group considered too old, and too familiar by most experts (myself included).
Am I close, or way off base? We’ll see.
After that, it’s anybody’s guess. Home court could be a difference but in series against Thunder and Heat, they’re too good to just mark down 4 home wins for Spurs. And to be honest, it’s the same if by chance either one of those teams has the advantage over the Spurs.