So winning both games of a back to back has motivated me to not only write another "The Hunt" but to make a graphic. Yeah, pretty cheesy play on the hunter/gatherer thing but that's the way I am. After the jump, your schedule analysis for the week and a look at last week.
Last Week for the Good Guys
So we add another loss to a team over .500 by dropping a game and the season series to Portland. That's right we've lose two season series already, Utah and Portland, and they are both teams were that could come into serious play. They aren't the '08 Bucks. The game was terrible considering their injury woes and that they were on a back to back, but we did fair on the week overall. We won both games of our back to back with all of the crazy situational stuff for that New York game (early start, plane delays, SEGABABA etc.). It's also important to remember we are playing without Bonner and Finley who are important to the team. We also got some relief from our competitors and Portland dominating other good teams. See more below.
1. Lakers (24-5): The Lakers went 2-1 this week. The got blown out by Cleveland on Christmas and escaped with an overtime win against Sacramento. This team is good, but they continue to look better than they really are. They are overachieving and have been since last year's playoffs.
2: Mavericks (22-9): They also went 2-1. They lose to Portland the night before the Blazers beat us, escape a close game against Memphis and then play a really good game against Denver (without Billups) on the road.
3: Denver (20-11): Denver went 1-2. They started the week by destroying Atlanta by 20 but then followed it up with a road loss to Portland and then another to the Mavs.
4. Portland (20-12): They go 3-0 beating Dallas and us in a Texas back to back and then beat Denver on Christmas. Outstanding week for them in spite of their woes.
5. Phoenix (19-12): The Suns went 1-3. They beat the Clippers, but lost to OKC, Golden State, and Cleveland. This was a very bad week for the Suns.
6. San Antonio (17-11): You know how we did going 3-1....stupid Portland.....
7. Houston (18-13): The Rockets went 2-2. They beat the Clippers and the Nets, but lost on the road to both the Magic and the Cavs. Tough week for the Rockets.
8. Utah (17-13): The Jazz go 1-2 last week with two rough road losses to Miami and Orlando. They dominated the Sixers by 20 on Saturday though.
So to recap, every team but Portland lost at least one game and Denver, Houston, Phoenix, and Utah all lost 2 or more (Phoenix,3) games. So by losses, we are tied for third with Denver now at 11 losses. LA with 5 and Dallas with 9 are the only teams above us. We sit at 6th overall though because of our lack of games limiting us to 17 wins.
Next Week's Games
Spurs have a somewhat similar schedule to last week.
Thursday: Miami (over .500/playoff team, they play the Hornets on Wednesday night too so it is possible they kick our ass without Wade)
Sunday: Toronto (@5:00 again, less than 24 hours after tip for the Washington game)
These teams are a combined 19-21 in their last 10's. No team is better than 6-4 (Miami and Toronto).
Lakers @ Suns
Nuggets @ Kings
Celtics @ Warriors
Cavaliers @ Hawks: I don't care who wins but I like the Hawks a little more. Either way one of these elite teams is getting a loss. Some other good teams play this night but not really great games. Houston and New Orleans isn't that big to me. I sure as hell am not going to root for NO to beat Houston though.
Hawks @ Cavaliers: Seriously, NBA, seriously? I swear a monkey is making these schedules. Even a computer has better judgement than this. Later in the year, we do one of these stupid things with the Hornets. Anyways, another loss for an elite Eastern team.
Celtics @ Suns
Mavericks @ Rockets: We gotta root Rockets, but either way is sort of good for us.
Jazz @ Thunder: The Thunder could be a playoff team with this win a good week. I thought about including them in the standings since they over .500 but they don't scare me enough yet. I mean in terms of seeds. I don't want to play them anymore..... the Durantula's success on us has given me a little arachnophobia.
Kings @ Lakers: This isn't really a good game, but there are only 3 games on Friday.
Grizzlies @ Suns: Randolph has been going off and if he rebounds like he has, they might pull the upset in Phoenix. It's a longshot though.
Nuggets @ Jazz
Mavericks @ Kings
Mavericks @ Lakers: This has to be the biggest game of the week. We win no matter what. I think it's better for the Spurs if the Lakers win but I think I will be rooting for the Mavs in this one. I hate for the Mavs to have such a quality road win, but I think the Lakers are on the verge of a reality check.
Hopefully you found this informative. This could definitely be another good week for the Spurs to gain some ground on the Western playoff teams. Also very important is that the Spurs can win out and be one game shy of the very important 2/3rds games won. Go Spurs Go!!!