The San Antonio Spurs — yes, the same Spurs threatening your favorite West team in the playoffs every season — have lost eight of their last 10 games. Kawhi Leonard still hasn’t returned from a lingering, confusing quadriceps injury, and LaMarcus Aldridge recently sprained his ankle, costing him Saturday’s game against the Lakers.
San Antonio’s untimely injuries and on-court struggles in a hectic Western Conference don’t bode well for their odds at keeping the league’s longest-standing playoff run intact. If they don’t turn things around, and fast, it can come crashing down, very, very soon.
Are the Spurs about to miss the playoffs?
At this point, it’s very possible. A quick look at the Western Conference standings shows that while seeds No. 1 and 2 are firmly grasped by the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, seeds No. 3 (Trail Blazers) through 9 (Clippers), or even 10 (Jazz), are as up for grabs as ever.
Only four games separate Portland from Utah, and only three separate the Trail Blazers from the Lakers. The Spurs are currently tied with the Thunder for the seventh seed in the West. They’re only two games ahead of the Clippers, yet they’re only one game out of the third seed.
What a time.
What about their schedule?
Ha. Haha. Hahaha.
How about you tell me how you think the Spurs will fare after looking at the remaining games on their schedule?
Yeah, didn’t think so. The Spurs have 19 games left on the schedule. Fifteen of those games are against teams competing for a playoff spot, and seven of those games are against either the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder or Timberwolves.
It’s not a long shot. Minnesota lost Jimmy Butler to a torn meniscus and he won’t return for a little while. New Orleans is rolling, but they still don’t have DeMarcus Cousins for the season. And the NBA is a wild roller coaster ride the likes of which nobody can predict. It’s like trying to guess what dollar amount is under your scratch-off: You have an idea, but it never quite pans out the way you thought, or the way you hoped.
You can’t write the Spurs off. Even if Leonard is hurt, and even if Aldridge misses a few more games, Gregg Popovich is one of the best head coaches of all-time for a reason. He’ll find a way to get his foot into the playoff door, one way or another.
But it’s been a long time since we’ve seen San Antonio this far down the standings. If they don’t get it together soon, they could be on the outside looking in for the first time in more than 20 years.