The San Antonio Spurs are currently in the midst of a five-game win streak, extending their league-best 44-12 (.786%) overall record by six games in the wins column and 2 games in the loss column over the Eastern Conference’s Miami Heat, who sit at 38-14 (.731%).
According to their head coach, Gregg Popovich, none of that matters.
“That’s what they are, a legitimate championship contender,” said Popovich regarding the Clippers, before his team dismantled them 116-90 Thursday night. “It doesn’t matter what the standings are; the standings are sort of fake during the year. You can be first, you could be sixth, you could be eighth. It doesn’t matter. The way the West is, we’re just gonna all beat each other up come playoff time. It’ll be great for fans.”
The man certainly has a point … but only to a point.
Because in the East, the standings mean everything. finish 2nd, 3rd, 6th or seventh, and the Miami Heat are somebody else’s problem for the first two rounds.
But back to Popovich’s point about the West.
Just a couple years back, his No. 1 seed Spurs were ousted 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs by a hungry – check, starving – Memphis Grizzlies squad. Memphis seized the moment and took advantage of an older, more experienced team in the first round.
With a dangerous albeit slumping Golden State Warriors team currently in the sixth slot, and Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers attempting to make a push for the final spot, it’s easy to hear Pop’s point and not argue.