The San Antonio Spurs have already secured the West’s top seed but with two games left in the regular season, there’s still work to be done. Namely, securing the overall top playoff seed which could have been locked up at this point if it were not for the six game losing streak.
However, it is important to note that besides Tim Duncan’s four-game absence, the Spurs have not met much adversity this season and although a lot of people might disagree, their brief slump will help the Spurs now and in the playoffs.
Since then, the Spurs have responded by winning four straight games averaging 111.5 points per game while limiting opposing teams to just 95.2 points per ball game. During that span, both their offense and defense has noticeably picked up too.
They shot 53.8 percent from the field, including 47.3 percent from behind the arc while holding their opponents to an average of 46.9 percent shooting from the floor and to a measly 32.2 percent from the 3-point area. This surely helps the team build more character, consistency and a winning mentality as the post-season approaches.
With two games left, the league’s best record is well within reach, the Spurs are one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the NBA’s best record. But coach Gregg Popovich might practice prudence with the workloads of some of the team’s key players which was evident in their last game against Utah as Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker played less than 30 minutes a piece.
Nonetheless, with a one game lead and only two games remaining wouldn’t the Spurs want to give it a shot?
They have worked hard all season winning games and have held the league’s best record for the most part. If they opt to rest more and lose one of their two last outings, Chicago has an outside shot of earning the overall top spot by sweeping their remaining schedule.
I know this could be looking too far ahead, but wouldn’t the Spurs regret losing overall homecourt advantage if they meet Chicago in the NBA Finals?
Just to point out on how having homecourt is crucial, the Spurs secured their third NBA title in 2005 by beating the Detroit Pistons in Game 7 at the AT&T Center and just recently, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center.
Nevertheless, the most important thing is to be healthy and be ready for the playoffs. The Spurs are playing well and are on a winning streak and it seems they are heading the post-season with the right rhythm and mentality. However, during the recent game versus the Jazz, Ginobili got banged up a bit and although he was OK, you have to wonder if sitting him is more important. But in the end, it will be up to coach Popovich on how to approach the next two games with the playoffs starting next week.
What do you guys think? Do the Spurs need to go for the best record as the playoff approaches or is it best for them to use their final two games to rest their key players? Send us your thoughts.