I know that things have gone well all season with our unbelievable franchise year currently at a 50-11 record. In fact the other Championship years the Spurs records weren't as efficient with a 60-22 in 2003, 59-23 in 2005, and 58-24 in 2007.(99' not listed due to lockout schedule)
I have really enjoyed this year and every game with incredible enthusiasm, but my confidence has shaken slightly lately. Reason being both the last two and next two games(Miami and LA) have concerned me. Most of us were shaken by the complete fall apart by the team on both sides of the ball during the game in Memphis. Many were early to point the finger at George Hill; however I knew this was a temporary laps by Hill, but Neal was the only player in double digits?? The Spurs always win and lose as a team this season. We are not a Dirk like dependent team. This was the first time that I can remember in Spurs history that a single member of the entire starting squad did not score in double digits. Can anyone remember when the last time this occurred? I know I sound like I maybe panicing alittle too quickly, but the last two games put a huge red flag up. That, and Dallas has been on fire.
While I realize that this was our first game after losing one of our team leaders, Tony Parker, but I still feel that we looked incredibly flat at points during the Cleveland game.
First, Chris Quinn is not our answer at 2nd string PG EVER. He is a decent garbage time 5 minute PG tops. I really feel we could seriously find someone in the Development League that could fill these shoes better, and we should do so now before we get closer to the Post Season(regardless of this years experience Quinn has). Second, we need to find a lengthy parameter defender asap. Third, we should bring up Cousins while we have time to test them, and while Tony is out and Novak is on the way out. I'm sorry, but Anderson is not a SF and is not known for his defensive skills. We will have many below .500 teams ahead and need to test another SF and Cousins now!
but...... I am not making this post to give complete suggestion for the future rotations. I am here to help predict whether or not we will hold the #1 seed against the Mavericks based on strength of schedule ahead, so lets take a look.
As it stands now the Spurs greatest threat to our #1 seed is obviously the Dallas Mavericks. They are in a 7 game winning streak, are 9 - 1 in their last 10 games, and have unfortunately just stolen away the surprising free agent defender Corey Brewer. This year the Mavericks have something they really haven't had before, and that's defense.While he probably would have had a greater impact on our roster then the Mavericks; however this does give the Mavericks a decent parameter defender, which they never had before. If you combine that with their first real post defender with Tyson Chandler, then this could be trouble for the Spurs. This is also why we can't reflect on the past monumental post season failures by the Mavericks and overlook them as many tend to do. They are in my opinion the most dangerous threat in the West.
The Spurs have 21 games left for the regular season and the Mavericks 22. So lets look at who each team has left and reasonably project how they turn out:
The Mavericks have a difficult March to say the least. They facing 8 possible playoff teams, 7 back to back games, and finishing the month within a 6 game road trip that will bring at least 1 guaranteed loss. I was surprised to see the amount of back to back games they have left, which does really help us.
The Spurs however will be running till at least March 18 without star point guard Tony Parker, and will have a big effect on the upcoming Heat and Lakers game. I believe we will split these difficult upcoming games since Miami had an epic full length comeback game by Orlando tonight.(Not to mention that Wade looked to have banged his knee in the final minute of the game) I do believe that we will finally fall to Los Angelos with Parker being out. Following this weekend the most difficulty we have coming up are a pair of 3 game road trips and 5 back to back games. (technically 4 b2b because I see us resting in our final game of the season)
Regardless, looking at the semi realistic projection above the Spurs are currently running with a 5.5 game lead. With the projection above the Spurs will end the season with 64-18 and the Mavericks with 60-22. Amazing the possibility with two teams with 60 wins in one divison, which im curious has ever happened. (I know it has in conference, but not sure if it has in divisions.) --So the Spurs should realistically hold onto their #1 seed with a slight 2-4 game lead due to strength of schedule and the Mav's long road trip and many back to back games.
I realize that record is not something that matters to the Spurs in the long run, and that Coach pop is more concerned with the health of their players and defensive mind set come day 1 of the post season. This is now a two way street due to our cores age.
The Spurs need to make sure that the Spurs maintain their first seed for one reason. We have to make sure that Los Angeles runs through Dallas in round 2 and not San Antonio as things currently stand. The Spurs couldn't handle the long road of of the post season giving 110% last season against Dallas in round 1, because by round 2 they nothing left in the tank. We have to be rested, have a good first round match up(please god be Phoenix), and not have to face both Dallas and LA in the post season.