The Spurs could have secured the second seed with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Alas, they came out flat and couldn't complete the comeback. Making matters worse, both the Rockets and Grizzlies won their games, which means the Spurs will finish with the sixth seed in the West. Considering they were hovering that spot for most of the season their placing isn't exactly surprising but the late surge made a higher seed look like a very real possibility. Needless to say, finishing so low feels like a disappointment now.
In the first round the Spurs will battle the Clippers, with a potential game 7 being hosted in Los Angeles. The season series ended up tied, with the Clippers emerging victorious the last two times the teams met. Fortunately, that was before San Antonio found its bearings, which provides plenty of reasons for optimism. That being said, the Clippers have a stellar margin of victory and have been on a tear lately, winning 14 of their last 15, with their only loss coming against the Warriors. They have to be considered the favorite to advance but their defense remains suspect and their depth nonexistent, so the Spurs definitely have a chance.
If San Antonio manages to get past them, they will have the fortune of avoiding the Warriors in the second round. That's the only silver lining to a terrible night in terms of seeding possibilities. The winner of Rockets vs. Mavericks would surely be a tough adversary but the Spurs would take their chances against them rather than play the best team in the league. Of course, for any of this to matter, the Spurs need to beat the Clippers first, which could prove to be a tall task.
The West has been a gauntlet all season long and things should only get more competitive in the postseason. The seeding is not what we hoped for, but things could have been worse. The playoffs are coming and the Spurs look ready. Nothing else matters.
Game 1: Staples Center, Sunday, April 19 at 9:30 p.m. CST (TNT)
Game 2: Staples Center, Wednesday, April 22 at 9:30 p.m. CST (TNT)
Game 3: AT&T Center, Friday, April 24 at 8:30 p.m. CST (ESPN)
Game 4: AT&T Center, Sunday, April 26 at 2:30 p.m. CST (ABC)
Game 5 (if necessary): Staples Center, Tuesday, April 28. Tip-off time TBD.
Game 6 (if necessary): AT&T Center, Thursday, April 30. Tip-off time TBD.
Game 7 (if necessary): Staples Center, Saturday, May 2. Tip-off time TBD.