The San Antonio Spurs are Fighting for Their Playoff Lives
Before we get to this year's playoff scenario, let me share my favorite Spurs rivalries of all time.
MY FAVORITE SPURS RIVALRIES:
SPURS/SUNS: This brings back memories of the big-time Spurs/Suns rivalry from the early 2000s with the Suns' unstoppable pick and roll of Steve Nash and Stoudemire with Shaq in the mix. These games were brutal, I remember Steve Nash finished off a game with a bloody nose against the Spurs!
SPURS/LAKERS: All those playoff series against the Kobe and the Lakers. Since 1999, the teams have met in the NBA Playoffs 7 times, with the clubs combining to appear in seven straight NBA Finals from 1999–2005. Additionally, the teams won each NBA Title from 1999–2003 (the Spurs won in 1999 and 2003, while the Lakers won in 2000, 2001, and 2002). From 1999–2004, the rivalry was considered as the NBA's best. We miss you, Kobe!
SPURS/MAVERICKS: While the Rockets and Spurs have had some epic duels throughout the years. The Spurs/Maverick games were on another level in the 2000s. I respected the heck out the athletic abilities and talent of Dirk, Jason Terry, and JJ Barea. I just didn't like the Mavericks as a sports team and then there was that one time that Mark Cuban called San Antonio a 'dirty little river.' I went to many games between these two teams. Can you say TENSE! What does your list look like?
SO YOU'RE SAYING THAT THERE IS STILL A CHANCE
Will the Spurs return to the playoffs this year? Last year the Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years and they have been fighting all year to get back. So, you're saying there is a chance? With three games remaining in the 2021 season, the Spurs have a 33-36 record and sit at the number 10 spot in the Western Conference. However, the new playoff format still gives them life. If they were to remain in the 10 spot, their next stop will a play-in tournament. How does the play-in tournament work?
HERE IS HOW
The teams that finish seventh and eighth in each conference will each have two opportunities to earn a playoff spot in a do-or-die game. On the other hand, the teams that finish ninth and 10th in each conference will each have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot. I personally think this new format is silly, I liked the old way of the top-8 seeds gets in. If you don't play strong enough during the regular season to make the top 8, then you don't earn a playoff spot. However, this still gives my Spurs a chance :).
Unless the Spurs lose their final three games they should be pretty safe in the 10th spot. However, that will not be easy! They will have a tough test with the New York Knicks tonight. Their final two games will be against the very hot and 2nd seeded Pheonix Suns. So let's just say that their work is cut out for them. GO SPURS GO!
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