Spurs is 3-2 in the bubble (30-38) currently at 10th place with three remaining games. While Memphis Grizzlies is 1-4 (33-37) 8th and Portland is 3-1 (32-38). Phoenix Suns are the only team that yet to lose 4-0 ( 30-39), New Orleans Pelicans 3-2 (30-39) and the Sacramento Kings is 1-4 (29-40).
For San Antonio to remain in the race of the playoff race they should secure either 8th or 9th after all teams played eight games. If the ninth seed is four games and below to the eighth place they will play each other with higher seed had a twice to beat advantage. The ninth place will be determined by winning percentage which a disadvantage for the Spurs given the facts for playing only 63 games compared to others who have played for more than 2 or 3 games.
So here is some scenario for the remaining games that can determine the Spurs playoffs fate.
San Antonio Spurs next three games are Pelicans, Rockets and Jazz
If Spurs went 3-0 (33-38).465
If Spurs went 2-1 (32-39) .451
If Spurs went 1-2 (31-40) .437
The Spurs combined for a 5-1 record against the next three opponents. The 3-0 is a tough one with Pelicans are going to all in, Harden is cooking and Jazz have enough All-Stars to beat the Spurs. But the Pelicans are inconsistent even win three times. They will face the new Spurs who played well, all five games are highly contested. While Houston Rockets already secured a playoff berth, they aren’t fans to rest their guys. But again, the Spurs had Houston numbers especially now without Clint Capella. Then the Utah Jazz looks like going to sit their guys in the last game to secure players’ health. It’s possible for the Spurs to get a 2-1 record or much better a swept to have the best chance in the 8th or 9th.
Portland Trailblazers ( Clippers, Sixers, Mavericks, and Nets)
4-0 (36-38) .486
3-1 (35-39) .473
2-2 ( 34-40) .459
1-3 ( 33-41) .446
Blazers are healthy and most of all they’re on fire. A 3-1 record is a testament to why Charles Barkley picked them to reaches the NBA Finals. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are back, while on the bench Hassan Whiteside is ready to help. Damian Lillard is on fire hitting his shots, Camelo Anthony is back to be a little Melo we have known. While Cj McCollum is a steady threat every night.
Grizzlies ( Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee)
2-1 ( 35-38).479
1-2 (34-39) .466
0-3 ( 33-40) .452
Memphis had a full four-game lead when the bubble starts. But a quick four losses almost doomed their chances, thanks to the Oklahoma City Thunder who falls flat in the second half against Grizzlies. The only problem is they will face the toughest three games ahead. If every team doesn’t like the idea of sitting out their main guys, it could be hard for the Grizz to record a win especially with Jaren Jackson Jr was done for the season.
For the Spurs to get a chance to a step ladder, it’s better to sweep the next three games and Portland wins only 2 games out of four or Memphis will get a strikeout for the next three. If the Spurs went to a 2-1 record, they can have a chance against the Memphis if Portland wins only one game. So 2 wins is a slim chance for San Antonio. If Blazers will be 1-3 and Memphis is 0-3, Spurs get 3-0, the Spurs will have a twice to beat advantage.
We didn’t include the Suns, Kings, and Pelicans because the Spurs had a season series advantage against these three. Also, we presumed that these three teams will lose one more game each.
For now, the Blazers are hard to beat, but if the Spurs can pull out the next three games it’s fine to play against the Memphis over the Portland.