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The Schedule Thief

By Jeff Koch on April 8, 2014.

San Antonio 91, Minnesota 110

I watched two things this evening: The Book Thief, the story of an orphan who is taken in by a German couple at the beginning of WWII, who then hide a Jew in their basement for some time and eventually (spoiler alert) die in a bombing raid. The film is narrated by Death, literally.

And this Spurs game.

Thematically, a complementary pairing.

Remember that game in Mexico that got smoked out many months ago? No? Apparently neither do the Spurs. This was the make-up for that game, and the team came out like they had completely forgotten they had to play tonight. They were flat, lifeless, sloppy, and completely disengaged. I closed my notebook about halfway through the second quarter, because it was obvious where this was heading.

When the Spurs lose, they often lose big, which, in many ways, is more comforting than losing close games. There are going to be 7-10 nights every season in which you just don’t have it. Tonight was one of those nights. The remarkable thing is how few of these nights the Spurs suffer, relative to the rest of the league.

So don’t give this game any more thought; the Spurs won’t.

Thursday night’s game in Dallas is much more important, and I fully expect a sharp Spurs team facing a Dallas team playing for their playoff lives.

In interesting seeding news, don’t look now, but the Clippers are closing in on the Thunder for the #2 seed. And the two teams play each other Wednesday night. If the Clippers win, they’ll draw dangerously close, and win the season series against the Thunder. This affects the Spurs because I think the Clippers are a better match-up for the Spurs than the Thunder, and the Clippers having home court advantage against OKC in a possible second round match-up is very big. The playoffs are about match-ups, and the way the seedings shake out will go a long way to determining many team’s fates.

In Spurs-centric news, the team’s Magic number to clinch home court throughout the playoffs is 2, meaning any combination of Spurs wins and Thunder losses equaling 2 seals the deal. Barring a disaster, this should happen sooner rather than later.

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