Schedule favors Thunder going forward


The San Antonio Spurs' road heavy schedule to begin the season was supposed to be helpful at the end of the season, as the Spurs were supposed to build their record as they moved towards the playoffs. 

March has been very home friendly as the Spurs had two games in the month.  They lost both of those games and have only lost three games total. 

So March has been kind so far, with only three losses in the month.  But there are three games left and they are three games against teams with the first, fourth and fifth best records in the league, fortunately all at home.  April is no easier, as six of the Spurs final nine games are against playoff opponents. 

This includes a grueling stretch starting Sunday, when they play the Miami Heat, travel to Memphis, back home to play the Orlando Magic then travel to Oklahoma City.  That's four games in five nights against three of the best teams in the league and the Magic.

Speaking of those Thunder, they seem to have the easier road, with one less game against playoff teams.  Two of those games are against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are the eighth place team in the East and are one game under .500.  Another is against the New York Knicks, who aren't exactly setting the world ablaze.  They play only one other team with a top six record, the Spurs on April 4.  That game comes after a four day layoff for the Thunder and again, will be the Spurs' fourth in five nights. 

At first glance, it appears the schedule favors the Thunder.  However, they do have six of their remaining 11 games on the road and three back to backs left.  Oh, and they're still 1 1/2 games behind the Spurs in the standings. They still have to travel to Indiana and play three games in four nights, all on the road, against the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers.  So the combination of the back to backs on the road could trip up the Thunder enough, but the Spurs will have to get back to playing January and February basketball if they hope to hold off the Thunder for the one seed.