This is the second edition of my Standings Perspective. The Spurs have been hurt in the standings for pretty much the entire season because we haven't played the same number of games as the teams around us. My goal for this edition is to equalize the teams by gifting teams with less games played some wins. Interested in this subjective twist? More after the jump
RECORDS AND REMAINING GAMES
Here are the Western playoff teams ranked by the loss column. "Eastern Elite" refers to Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, and Atlanta. "Other Notables" includes Toronto, Milwaukee, Houston, Memphis, Miami and New Orleans. I included Charlotte last time but no one plays them this time. I've added Miami this time (theoretically, but no one plays them), and am only leaving New Orleans because they are saying Chris Paul will return this week for some reason. Western Playoff Teams and SEGABABA's should be self-explanatory.
Games Left will refer to total games left prior to receiving my gift wins. My gifted wins will get all teams to 11 games remaining to match the Suns, Blazers, and Jazz. The records will include the gifted wins. If a gifted win is a SEGABABA, it won't be listed there, but I will note it in the gifted win section.
1. Lakers (53-18) - 12 games left
Gifts: @ Minnesota on a SEGABABA after an @ Denver
Western Playoff Teams: @ SAS, @ OKC, UTH, SAS, @ DEN, POR
Eastern Elite: @ ATL
Other Notables: @ HOU
SEGABABA's: @ HOU, @ LAC
2. Denver (48-23) - 12 games left
Western Playoff Teams: @ DAL, POR, @ OKC, LAL, SAS, @ PHX
Eastern Elite: @ BOS, @ ORL
Other Notables: @ TOR, MEM
SEGABABA's: @ BOS, @ DAL, LAL, @ PHX
3. Dallas (47-24) - 12 games left
Gifts: Clippers on a SEGABABA tonight after last night's New Orleans game
Western Playoff Teams: @ POR, DEN, OKC, @ POR, SAS
Eastern Elite: ORL
Other Notables: @ MEM, MEM
SEGABABA's: ORL, @ SAC
4. Utah (46-25) - 11 games left
Western Playoff Teams: @ LAL, OKC, PHX
Eastern Elite: -
Other Notables: @ TOR, @ HOU, @ NO
SEGABABA's: @ WAS, @ HOU, PHX
5. Phoenix (45-26) - 11 games left
Western Playoff Teams: SAS, @ OKC, DEN, @ UTH
Eastern Elite: -
Other Notables: @ MIL, HOU
SEGABABA's: @ NJ, @ MIL, @ UTH
6. San Antonio (44-27) - 13 games left
Gifts: @ New Jersey (SEGABABA after @ Boston) and Minnesota
Western Playoff Teams: LAL, @ LAL, @ PHX, @ DEN, @ DAL
Eastern Elite: CLE, @ BOS, ORL,
Other Notables: HOU, MEM
SEGABABA's: @ PHX, @ DEN
7. Oklahoma City (44-27) - 13 games left
Gifts: @ Sixers and Minnesota (SEGABABA after the @ Dallas)
Western Playoff Teams: LAL, POR, @ DAL, @ UTH, DEN, PHX, @ POR
Eastern Elite: @ BOS
Other Notables: HOU, MEM
SEGABABA's: @ BOS, DEN, @ POR
8. Portland (42-29) - 11 games left
Western Playoff Teams: DAL, @ OKC, @ DEN, DAL, @ LAL, OKC
Eastern Elite: -
Other Notables: @ NO
SEGABABA's: @ OKC, @ DEN, OKC
Western Playoff Teams, Eastern Elite, Other Notables, SEGABABA's
LAL: 6, 1, 1, 2
DEN: 6, 2, 2, 4
DAL: 5, 1, 2, 2
UTH: 3, 0, 3, 3
PHX: 4, 0, 2, 3
SAS: 5, 3, 2, 2
OKC: 7, 1, 2, 3
POR: 6, 0, 1,3
Note: Spurs, Thunder, Mavs, and Lakers each have 1 additional SEGABABA that was gifted as a win. That really means every team has 3 SEGABABA's except Denver and OKC with 4.
(Western Playoff Teams + Eastern Elite + .5 * Other Notables + .5 * Bad Team SEGABABA's)/Games Remaining
LAL: 8 / 11 = .73
DEN: 9 / 11 = .82
DAL: 7.5 / 11 = .68
UTH: 5 / 11 = .45
PHX: 5.5 / 11 = .50
SAS: 9 / 11 = .82
OKC: 9 / 11 = .82
POR: 6.5 / 11 = .59
Lakers: .As everyone knows by now, the Lakers will be the 1 seed.
Denver: I see them finishing their brutal schedule 6-5 which will put them at last years 54-28 record. This will be the mark for Dallas to get to.
Dallas: I think their schedule is much easier than Denver's (especially if they can find a way to win their two @ Portlands). They have split games with Denver so their meeting on Monday could be for the second seed. Their last game might not mean anything but momentum for them. Their last game is against us by the way.
Utah: "Utah could rise, but it depends on winning their road games and their SEGABABA's," was my observation last time. They have lost their last 3 road games by an average greater than 8 points. They have 7 more road games and two tough home games against OKC and PHX, two of the teams they just lost to on the road.
If we want the 4 seed, Utah needs to lose 6 of its last 11 games. They are currently up 2-1 on Phoenix and play one more time the last game of the season. That game could be huge as it might be Phoenix's chance for the 4th seed outright or a chance to send it to a further tie-break.
Phoenix: They have it really easy while we are playing some really hard games for the next two weeks. However, these are the Suns final 6 games: @ MIL (SEGABABA), SAS, @ OKC, HOU, DEN, @ UTH (SEGABABA). They could easily drop 4 of those games and fall to 51-31 if they lose just one of the road games before that stretch.
Spurs: "If the Spurs can beat their eastern opponents, we will be looking amazingly good. It needs to start tonight against Cleveland," is what I wrote last time. We have lost 3 have of our last 13 games with our losses being @ CLE, @ ORL, and @ ATL. I repeat those sentiments with games against the East looming: CLE, @ BOS, and ORL. Coincidentally, all three games are our last three this season against teams we have not beat yet.
Our at Phoenix is our most important game remaining. I don't think our @ Denver or @ Dallas is enough to pass either of them, but we could have some say in who we end up playing. Dallas could also throw the last game against us.
If you want us to get to 50 wins, pick 5 losses out of LAL, CLE, @ BOS, ORL, @ LAL, @ PHX, @ DEN, and @ DAL and we have to win the other 3 and all of our games against non-playoff teams. If you think we can win 52 games, pick 3 of those games to lose. Any kind of momentum to getting to the 4th seed has to start by going 4-1 to end March.
Tony Parker is circling Denver as his projected return date. That is our second and last FOGAFINI of the season. It would be huge to get him for that game or the Memphis game in SA the night before.
OKC: Their schedule is tough but not nearly as tough as ours. They could finish anywhere from 49-51 wins in my opinion.
Portland: I think they are the 8th seed, but they have 2 games against OKC. Winning both could switch their final positions. I think they will finish 49-33 so if they want to avoid LA, they need to beat OKC....twice.
As a Spurs optimist, these are my 1st round playoff predictions:
1 Lakers vs 8 Porltand (Lakers in 5)
2 Dallas vs 7 OKC (Dallas in a tough 6 or 7)
3 Denver vs 6 Phoenix (Phoenix in 7)
4 Utah vs 5 San Antonio (San Antonio in 6 where both teams dominate some games and get blown out in others, Spurs prevail on the road though winning the third game in Utah...I think we'd all prefer to be 6th and go against Denver. It would also force LA to have to play Utah or Phoenix prior to a potential conference finals match.)
I might copy and paste this at a later date and update the information so any suggestions or comments about the format or content would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.