With 8 games remaining, have San Antonio Spurs turned corner in time for playoff run

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With eight games left in their regular season schedule, the San Antonio Spurs just broke a two-game losing streak after winning nine straight in their pursuit of securing the franchise’s 22nd consecutive playoff appearance.

This season has been one wild roller coaster filled with highs and lows and highs again. Three games back, the Spurs got a win over the esteemed, albeit shorthanded, Golden State Warriors and were looking like one of the strongest teams in this year’s race to the playoffs.

Now, they just got their first win after losing two in a row, both of which were lost in the last minutes of the game. In their losses, the defense looked sluggish and they were not as efficient on offense either. Luckily, they bounced back again Sunday night with a 115-96 win over the Boston Celtics. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the silver and black with his second-highest scoring game this season and career-high on the road with 48 points and 13 rebounds.

After their worst Rodeo Road Trip, going 1-7, the Spurs won nine straight games while keeping all but one opponent at 105 points or below. Their struggles on the Rodeo Road Trip made obvious the impact Derrick White has on the Spurs.

White, who is in his second year, is averaging just under 10 points a game, nearly 4 assists, about 3 and a half rebounds and is one of the strongest defenders on this year’s squad. White tied the Spurs’ franchise record for blocks performed by a guard on March 6th against the Atlanta Hawks with 6. He’s providing a spark for the Spurs while playing the point guard position with a maturity beyond his years.

Still, the Spurs find themselves in the 7th seed in the Western Conference with 8 games to go. As odd as it seems, they are only one game out of the 5th spot since they hold the tiebreaker over the Utah Jazz. Regardless of where they are now, the teams in the 1-8 spot of the Western Conference are pretty much secured since there are 6 games separating the 9th-seed Sacramento Kings and the 8th-seed Oklahoma City Thunder.

With that said, the Spurs are looking at an almost sure playoff berth while playing some of the best basketball they’ve played all season. Have they peaked at just the right time, or is there still more up their sleeves that they’ve yet to unveil this year?

On the other hand, will they wither? They obviously don’t have an amazing road record this year at 14-23 and they’re looking at a more than probable ending in the 5-8 spot in the standings meaning no home court advantage. However, since the rodeo road trip ended they’ve won 3 of 4 away games, so maybe this is a turning point.

All in all, this year’s team, which of course is filled with several first-year Spurs, has some potential. When they’re focused and synchronized with each other, they seem unstoppable, yet at other times they can’t seem to catch a break. It’s truly an enigmatic situation because of the talent that they possess and the ability to perform exceptionally well some nights and completely poorly on others.

Over the last 12 games, the Spurs seem to have turned a corner. Although they suffered losses to the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets, they have performed consistently well for the longest streak this season and, luckily for them, it’s toward the end of the season with a chance at making the playoffs. How they end the season will depend on how consistently they perform from here on out.

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