SAN ANTONIO — Every time the Spurs win, I journey over to my Facebook page and post: "SPURS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" – along with something else intelligent about the game. Ok, maybe I’ve missed two or three nights all season, but that’s the kind of exhausting season that it’s been. You’d disagree?
While watching the game Saturday night in New Orleans, the great Sean Elliott said this team is going to be mentally exhausted by the time the regular season is over. He’s right, because he’s right. It never occurred to me, at the time it happened, that the loss of their five games midseason would turn the second half of the schedule upside down. Did you know the Spurs have played back-to-back or every other night since the All Star break? That is as close to athletic insanity as you can get. Let that sink in. They play 48 minutes every 48 hours, and sometimes 96 minutes in 24 hours.
So how excited are you about the post-season playoffs?
It's interesting that San Antonio, in normal times, might be looking at lottery options over seeding ones at this point, but because of the new ‘play in’ format they are alive and well, and could potentially get inside the top eight.
I’d confess, I’m traditional when it comes to who makes the playoffs. I don’t like the whole idea of throwing everybody, east and west, into one laundry basket and getting the best 16 teams. Some favor that because some of the western conference cellar dwellers have better records than the bottom half of the top eight in the east conference. But I guess I’m finding the intrigue, and excitement, with the new format simply because the Spurs are in that mix.
It also doesn’t seem entirely fair for the seven and eight seeds in the west to play those pre playoff games, but we can also argue that if Dallas and Portland were trying to secure the eight and nine spots, Dame Lillard and Mark Cuban WOULD BE ALL FOR IT.
As of this creation of this article, 11 a.m. on April 26, the Spurs are one game out of the eighth spot. And that’s the fun of that statement. The roller coaster ride has already been, and will continue to be up and down between now and the regular season finish. It seems like as soon as they get into ninth they fall back to tenth. Maybe the moment this week they fight their way into eighth for one day they’ll fall one spot back down. But like I said earlier, that’s the season this has been, right? DeMar DeRozan said it last week. It’s just been one of those years. But the one piece of good news about that is that the final chapter of the Spurs season has yet to be written.
It's going to be quite fascinating to watch. They play 10 games in 15 days to wrap the regular season. That’s crazy. That is literally scheduling craziness. It seems unfair, but that's the reality during this 72-game COVID season. The canceled games have to be played. It’s the character Bob Sugar said in Jerry Maguire, "It’s not 'show friends' – it’s 'show business.’" Pop would have to the make the Tim Duncan injury report ‘old’ joke more than a few times if he was still on the team. My head still spins that they have that many games in that short amount of time between now and May 16. Oh, and that’s right, they’d have to be ready to start the post season right after that – the ‘play in’ version, that is. I don’t even know if that’s considered the post-season actually? So there’s that even before their first round best of seven would start – assuming they get there.
Pop is known for managing minutes. He’s known for working than better than most. He’s been doing it longer than anyone else, so why not? The point being – he’ll be calling on the entire length of the bench to get his team to the regular season finish line. And then what? Oh yeah, the play in and the playoffs. Energy drinks, anyone? #GoSpursGo