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.
"That game comes after a four day layoff for the Thunder and again, will be the Spurs' fourth in five nights."
Seems like the nba (meaning Stern) is trying to screw us over with the same scenario that the Spurs had to face playing the heat, maybe Pop should rest the big three again.
@BlazingDeath I know right? The exact same (well not EXACTLY) scenario in the beginning of the season is happening again. Th Spurs play 4 games in 5 nights (3 of those 4 teams are legit playoff teams). The 4th and last game is against OKC. But here's the ass kicker we spurs fans love, while the spurs are playing 4 of the 5 nights, OKC is RESTING all 4 nights while the spurs are playing. Just like how Miami got like 5 days off to prepare for us, OKC is getting 4 days off to prepare for what's already going to be a freaking tired Spurs team. Whoever made that schedule obviously had this in mind. The chances of this type of thing happening to a team TWICE in one season is absolutely atrocious. What I want is for us to beat Miami (I REALLY want to see the Spurs end this streak and watch Sportscenter explode in the following days). Then, we go to Memphis the next day and we SHOULD be able to win. Marc Gasol is out indefinitely with a torn abdominal muscle. Their best big man and defensive anchor is out, so that gives us a huge advantage, even if the spurs are still tired from playing Miami the night before. Then, we get one day off and when we play Orlando, Pop should rest the big 4 (I think he should rest Kawhi too), and let the bench play against an already terrible Orlando team who lost Aron Afflalo for the season with a hamstring tear, and Glen Davis indefinitely with a broken foot. I think our bench can handle that depleted Magic team at home. So that gives our Big 3 (or big 4) two nights off instead of one, and they shall be ready to go against OKC the following day. It is proven, Tim Duncan plays BEASTLY when he gets at least two days off. I'm sure Parker, Manu and maybe Kawhi would follow suit.