SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs clinched their 21st consecutive playoff berth on Monday night, but their seeding for the Western Conference playoffs remains very much in the air headed into Wednesday night’s regular season finale at New Orleans, a team also fighting for playoff positioning.
According to the NBA, the Spurs can finish between the fourth and eighth seeds.
The fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the first round would appear to be the longest shot for San Antonio because it would require the Spurs to beat the Pelicans; and Memphis to beat Oklahoma City.
The Grizzlies have been one of the worst teams in the league this season and the Thunder are also seeking to improve their playoff seed.
There are four combinations of results that would give the Spurs either the fifth, sixth or seventh seed.
A win against New Orleans doesn’t guarantee San Antonio the fifth seed, but a loss to New Orleans means they can finish no higher than the sixth seed.
A loss can also drop them to seventh, where they would face the defending champion Warriors in the first round.
The worst-case scenario for San Antonio would be falling to the eighth seed and facing Houston in Round 1.
Yes, the Spurs beat the Rockets in last year’s playoffs, but that Houston team did not have Chris Paul and this year’s Spurs team has played virtually all year without Kawhi Leonard.
There are two combinations of results that would land the Spurs in the eighth seed.
The easiest way for San Antonio to avoid this situation, besides winning their own game, would be for Minnesota to beat Denver.
(THE IMAGE HERE IS A SPREADSHEET OF POSSIBLE SEEDINGS BASED ON THE OUTCOMES OF FOUR GAMES ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT: SAN ANTONIO AT NEW ORLEANS, DENVER AT MINNESOTA, MEMPHIS AT OKC, AND UTAH AT PORTLAND. COURTESY: NBA)
According to the NBA, there is no scenario where San Antonio would fall to eighth if the Timberwolves beat the Nuggets.
If Denver beats Minnesota and the Spurs lose, the chances would be favorable that San Antonio would start the playoffs in Houston.
The full schedule for the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs will be released Wednesday night.
I broke down the possible #NBAPlayoffs scenarios for the #Spurs (there are a lot)...4th seed will be difficult to get..7th, 8th seed and opening with either #Warriors or #Rockets is very possible (Grid below per #NBA) MORE here🤔➡️ https://t.co/9WUdcT6jjb #KSATsports #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/9ilrFqDeCY— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 11, 2018