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.
Number one seed is good but the health is much more important.
If the Knicks beat the Bulls tomorrow, the Spurs can rest all their starters. Actually i have a feeling that the Big 3 will not play against LA.
Rest and be ready for the playoffs that's what matters most. The Spurs are already number one in the West, the overall top seed won't matter until the Finals.
Another reason to rest the starters. The Lakers could end up number 4 if they loose tomorrow and against Sacramento, we don't want the Lakers in the 2nd round. Instead use the final 2 game to give more playing time to Tiago, Anderson, Novak and Green. @AaronWatters it would be nice to see Novak starting and good take on potential playoff matchups. But I still think the Lakers would like to end up as the number 2 seed and not 4.
@AaronWatters we dont want the lakers in 2nd round,,..cmon guys we are not scared to lakers right..? we dont have to depend on them all we want is to win.....even if they end in 3rd or 4th seed we dont care...even if we take the lakers in the second round we must face them...thats reality..FACE LAKERS nd BEAT LAKERS
I agree we don't want the Lakers in the second round and I would prefer to rest our guys, however I want to add a different take to it...
Would the Lakers prefer to be in the fourth seed? I'm not going to say that LAL is going to fear anyone, but when it comes to size in the paint the best road for them is to go against Den and SAS. If they end up as #3 they'll have to play Memphis or Portland, both have the size to play LAL.
I don't know much, but I do know there will be plenty of mind games played tomorrow night and it'll be fun, even if my boy Novak ends up starting!
At this point, giving some rest to starters and using the minutes to look at the role players is the way to go. I say Rest and health and forget about the overall top seed. Anyway the Spurs can still be number even if they go 1-1 in the last two games coupled with a Bulls loss.
I think resting the starters is the way to go. Manu, Tim and Tony has to be fully healthy for the Spurs to get deep in the playoffs.
I believe has to stay sharp going into the playoffs. If they can win the last two games it will be great but not force it too much to the extent of playing the Big three some big minutes. This is the time where they continue to build momentum and at the same time see what the role players can do. Play the Big 3 but give minutes to Tiago, Anderson, Novak, Bonner and Neal.
@zoreen20 It would be nice if the Spurs end up with the overall top seed. In my opinion, I think it will be good to give minutes to the starters but limit them (like they did vs Utah). If they continue to win the last to games without overplaying their starters That will be awesome.
i think the spurs big 3 must play......they should grab the oppurtunity right now...they must win for the top seed in overall conference...it has the advantage and it keeps them going bec. of the fans supprt...im not sayng this not bec i love them playing..im saying this for the organization....this is the last year...TONY TIMMY and MANU and coach POP this is the time...GO SPURS GO...!!!!!!!
If the Spurs beats the Lakers tomorrow, LA could potentially fall at the number 4 seed. I think the Spurs are smart enough not to make that happen. But If Dallas and OKC both loose today, then the game tomorrow against LA will be more exciting. Although I still prefer to rest the starters than forcing them to play a lot of minutes in a regular season game.
After 5 losses in row LA's hungry so gotta play SA starters Tues nite otherwise it'll get ugly out there specially on DA Road and right now can't afford any bad momentum swings. Diff story with PHX, there strugglin so bench should get most minutes and close, this will also allow pop to see who can contribute in playoffs cuz in 7game series / playing everyother nite, bench will be vital !!!! Would b nice to get 1 overall see though not worried bout that right now as playoffs is diff level/diff season (e.g. we've seen SPURS win title as 1 seed and we've also seen them get bounced as 1 seed) so if we can get 1 overall seed great though really need to focus on closing season strong and gettin primed for solid run and everything else will fall into place. Also, to get past any western opp (LA, OKC, Dallas, Memphis, Portland etc..) TIAGO must b on pop's frequent rotations as another solid big 2 GUARD THE RIM > REBOUND and RAISE THA D........ GO SPURZ !!!!!!!!!
@TD21 couldn't have said it any better myself. I also believe the Spurs have proven enough that they are back in business winning 4 straight albeit against "weaker" teams but they've done it in impressive fashion. If we can win the last two games and rest the starters that will be great, but if we loose both of them that ain't so bad too as lang we are ready for the post-season. IMO the Spurs will go 1-1 at worst in these last two games so If Chicago losses one they will end up getting the Top seed.
@Daniel07 @TD21 If the Spurs and Chicago go 1-1 in their final two games. The Spurs will get overall top seed. While it only matters in the Finals, it will always be better to have that advantage so the "IF" comes there are no regrets.
But yes, I like what I saw in the four game winning streak. This is not yet their best basketball (because they have played better) I'd say they are looking to peak again at the right time. Let's see how Pop handles the final two games.
I think staying healthy and resting their starters will be better for the Spurs. Like @LFJeremy the top seed only matters IF the Bulls and Spurs meet in the Finals. These last two games is also a good chance for the Spurs to play Tiago, Novak, Neal and even James Anderson and Danny Green more to see what they really got. They could help the team in the playoffs.
@TD21 @LFJeremy Great point! These final two games could be used to see what can the other rotation players can bring in the playoffs. Plus the Spurs resting their starters will ensure they are healthy and fresh for the playoffs. But with the long layoffs it could be Rest vs. Rust? Thanks for the comment and read guys!
The overall top seed is nice, but I think the Spurs will rest their starters with the West top spot already secured.
Sorry but I would hate to see the lakers fall lower than 3... It is the worst thing that could happen to the spurs.... We need dallas and LA in the 2 and 3 slots. That way they have to duke it out with each other so that we only have to play one of them. When it is all said and done it will be a LA vs Spurs West Finals. So if we lose to the lakers on tuesday it could be a blessing in disguise. I know we can take both dallas and LA but lets not wear our guys down either. Besides Chicago will likely lose a game before the end.
i say they might NEED home court. there is a good chance chicago and SA meet in teh finals, and the bulls, like the spurs have only lost 5 all season at home, their road record is not great, and they have played noticeably worse on the road. case in point, yesterday, had d howard been in the game, the magic surely would have won, and it took a stellar effort from rose to inch out a win there. i think the bulls record is a bit inflated due to how weak the eastern conference still is.
the lakers look ripe for the beating, plus a win in LA pushed the lakers closer to losing the 2 seed, i would love to see them fall, potentially to the 4 seed, and the suns are no challenge any more, with or without nash. with 3 days rest and the lakers with only monday off, the spurs need to take care of that. playoffs start next weekend, plenty of rest time, just fingers crossed for no injuries.
@JohnAbney I hope you are right about the Spurs and Bulls making to the Finals. That's too far ahead but that will be a great series and I think the Spurs' experience will win it for them if that happens.