Sure hope everyone realizes how very real the possibility is that the San Antonio Spurs are going to wind up in the Western Conference Finals.
The first reason - they won't face Golden State or Houston until that point! How's that for finding the positive in the seventh seed, huh?
Rudy Gay even took it steps further at Monday practice suggesting how dangerous the Spurs are right now, and that the rest of the league knows the Spurs are better than seventh in the West.
My next reason - San Antonio's first-round opponent, Denver.
The list would include more than just myself of those who don't really believe in, or respect, the two seed in the Western Conference. I'd argue they overachieved in the regular season.
Plus, the Silver & Black have something the team in the Mile High City does not - playoff experience. That fact goes far in April, May, and - who can say - maybe even June.
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone compared the Spurs bench players to his G Leaguers of the past. Everybody that follows the NBA knows that 'stars' win championships, but you better understand what second units mean to the last team standing. The south Texas franchise with FIVE titles can tell you some stories about that.
My third reason - should the Spurs advance (and I think they will), they would face either Portland or Oklahoma City in the second round.
The Trailblazers have the "Splash Brothers, part two" in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but they're also minus their big man, seven-footer Jusuf Nurkic. That's huge - no pun intended, just the basketball facts. They have some nice complimentary players, but their backcourt would have to outscore San Antonio in a seven-game series, and I just don't see that.
My fourth, and final reason - has any team in the league gone from good, to great, to terrible faster than OKC?
The Thunder did have the toughest regular season close in the NBA this year after the All-Star break, and the results were not good. Their free fall in the West standings was, unfortunately for them, impressive. Even more fortunate that Lebron and everybody else outside the playoff picture were too far gone to threaten the Thunder as they sat in the 8th spot their fair share of times before the start of the postseason. Paul George and Russell Westbrook are league superstars, yes, but they come up small just as often as they come up big.
Now being fair, you could argue the Spurs had their disappointing moments more nights than predicted this season, but I'd take their team ball over the isolation ball of Oklahoma City most nights.
So that leaves San Antonio, in my estimation, in the West finals against either Golden State or Houston.
Do I think they can beat either one of those teams in seven? I'm gonna stop just short and get out of the prediction business while I'm ahead.
Enjoy the ride! Go Spurs Go!