Spurs clinch playoff berth for 20th consecutive season
Are the San Antonio Spurs being over looked? Currently if you were to google NBA power rankings as of right now, the Spurs are #1 with the Cleveland Cavaliers sitting at #2, and the Golden State Warriors sit at #5 behind the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets. Now I know Kevin Durant is hurt, but minus KD the trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green was good enough to get a historic 73 wins last season, without depending on another superstar.
I’m not going to overreact, the fact is it’s still March and as the playoffs creep closer with six weeks remaining in the season, the Warriors should get a fired up and healthy Kevin Durant just in time for the playoffs, but this is a discussion for another day. In back-to-back overtime victories against the struggling New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves the Spurs locked in yet another playoff season after winning the third game in four-nights in a brutal schedule following their annual rodeo road trip.
This time around the Spurs are headed to the playoffs without a familiar name Tim Duncan who put the Spurs on the map early on in his career, and never slowed down. After retiring last season, the new look Spurs led by Kawhi Leonard faced numerous questions coming into the season, and one of the biggest concerns was how they would keep their chemistry going without Duncan who’s been the centerpiece of the franchise since 1997. Regardless of the previous ugly wins, Spurs are finding ways to win late in games. Leonard is proving that he can score when needed, and not just depend on his defense after dropping 30 yet again on the T-Wolves. On Thursday he hit a game winner against the Indiana Pacers with Paul George on him, Friday the Spurs were able to overcome a sloppy game in New Orleans with the turnovers and missed easy baskets, to come away with a win in overtime, and Saturday morning the Spurs arrived late in the morning to face the 11th ranked T-wolves in the west, who gave them a run for their money for the majority of the game, and although it wouldn’t have looked good for the Spurs to lose at home, the T-wolves are much better than their record says, and they have a coach on Tibbs to get the job done.
With two huge games coming up against the Warriors both of them being in SA, the Spurs are clearly in the driver seat as the season nears, as these two powerhouses will match up, but with a Durant-free Warriors team. Beating Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony Towns on back-to-back nights in the regular season is good, but the Spurs look to avoid close games like this when healthy is a big priority this time around.