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12 Games Left Until Playoffs

By Daniel Strickland on March 29, 2006.

Reading Bramlet’s post about Bob Hill (“Revenge of the Bitches”) reminded me that for Coach Popovich the regular season has always been prelude to the post season that starts in April. Bob Hill didn’t get that in 1996 and I doubt he gets it now.

Speaking of the post season, there are just 12 games left for the Spurs in the regular season. And 5 of those games are matchups against teams vying for a playoff spot, starting with tonight’s contest against the LA Clippers:

  • Tue, Mar 28: at Los Angeles Clippers
  • Thu, Mar 30: at Los Angeles Lakers
  • Wed, Apr 5: vs Sacramento Kings
  • Fri, Apr 7: vs Dallas Mavericks
  • Sun, Apr 9: vs Memphis Grizzlies

If you had asked me to make predictions 12 games ago, I would have predicted that neither Los Angeles team, then the 6 and 8 seeds, would make the playoffs, and that Sacramento and Houston would come on strong to snatch the last two spots. I figured that San Antonio would likely face Houston or New Orleans in the first round, followed by Dallas, then Phoenix, then Miami in the Finals.

Now it looks like both LA teams are in and the Spurs will face Sacramento, then Dallas, the Phoenix, then Miami, Detroit or even New Jersey in the Finals.

The Spurs beat the Mavericks decisively March 2 and will play them once more on April 7 at home. By then, we’ll see if the Mavs have what it takes to make a serious run for the Western Title, or whether they’ll have to settle for the 4th seed, as it now appears.

April looks like a cakewalk: of their last 10 opponents, only three are playoff contenders — Washington, Dallas and Memphis. Unless the Spurs have a chance of catching the Pistons, or the Mavericks have closed the gap, look for Coach Pop to give his starters some rest.

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