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  #1  
Old 02-21-07, 08:50 AM
YoMamaIsCallin's Avatar
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Utah loses; Spurs now tied for 3rd in the West

http://www.nba.com/games/20070220/UTAPOR/recap.html

Utah loses without Deron Williams, who was injured (groin strain) in the Rookie Challenge Game in Vegas. The Spurs and Utah are now tied in the loss column with 18 losses apiece, in the race for 3rd place. The Spurs have one more win in hand than the Jazz.

Here are the current conference standings, with my commentary:

------------ "On top of the world"
DAL 44-9
PHO 40-13
--------------"Working for 3rd to avoid Dallas in the 2nd round"
SAN 36-18
UTA 35-18
HOU 33-19
--------------"Goal: win more than 1 game in the first round"
LAL 30-24
DEN 26-26
-------------"How bad do I want that 8th spot so Dallas can jack me up?"
MIN 25-28
LAC 25-29
GSW 25-29
NOH 25-29
SAC 23-29
-------------"If we were in the East..."
POR 23-32
SEA 21-32
MEM 14-41


Let's run some numbers. The Spurs have 28 games left. Let's give them a best-case and say they win at better than a 4-out-of-5 games pace (.800). Then they'd go 23-5 for the rest of the season and finish with a 59-23 record.

Right now, the Mavs are at 44-9, so they'd have to go 15-14 the rest of the way just for the Spurs to tie them. It's not happening. The Mavs are a lock to win the division.

What about the Suns? They are at 40-13, so for the Spurs to tie them under the above assumptions, they'd have to go 20-10 the rest of the way. This is much more plausible than catching the Mavs. But...

I think it's better for the Spurs just to focus on improving themselves and getting into playoff mode, rather than focusing on getting the #2 spot and HCA against Phoenix. If it happens, it happens. If they stay in 3rd then they'll most likely face either LAL or Denver in the 1st round at the #6 spot -- both good teams but either should be beatable in 5 or 6 games. Then they get the Suns in round 2, and the Spurs seem to have the Suns number, which would set up another Spurs-Mavs series. The winner of that series should have no problem beating whoever the East spits out and getting that trophy.

Last edited by YoMamaIsCallin; 02-21-07 at 10:12 AM. Reason: bad data from nba.com!!
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  #2  
Old 02-21-07, 09:26 AM
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Actually, for all the Eastern Conference jokes, there are no teams with sub .500 records in their present top 8 while the 8th spot in the West is being held and is in contention among a group of sub-.500 afterthoughts. It definitely suggests that though the top teams in the West are great the bottom half of the West isn't any better than the bottom half of the East. Also, I'm pulling for our boys to maybe finish with a 60-22 record. Let's hope it can happen.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-07, 09:30 AM
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The standings on nba.com are wrong wrt the Suns, they have 13 losses. Not sure how that happens, but I remember TNT showing the records of the top teams in the west, and the Suns had 13 losses, and the standings on espn.com show 13 also:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/standings

So the Suns are 40-13. Not that it really matters, since I also think the #3 spot is the best the Spurs can hope for. Anything that keeps us out of facing the Mavs in the second round.

Last edited by Capek; 02-21-07 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:34 AM
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Also the Spurs have 36 wins. Which means we are a 1/2 game ahead of Utah.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-07, 09:38 AM
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Since when did we become afraid of facing the Mavs in the second round?

I'm all for getting the best seed possible, but I ain't afraid of the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. We play who's in front of us, when they're put in front of us. If we lose, we lose because we weren't good enough...whether that be in the first round, second round, third round, or finals.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAScrub View Post
Since when did we become afraid of facing the Mavs in the second round?

I'm all for getting the best seed possible, but I ain't afraid of the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. We play who's in front of us, when they're put in front of us. If we lose, we lose because we weren't good enough...whether that be in the first round, second round, third round, or finals.
Well then lets just take the 8th seed then and call it a day. :richb
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Old 02-21-07, 09:53 AM
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You're next, Phoenix!

Someone needs to photoshop that picture with the Phoenix players looking in the rearview mirror and seeing the Spurs coming up behind them.
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Last edited by Robofuzz; 02-21-07 at 10:01 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-07, 10:05 AM
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Holy missing game, Batman. The standings on nba.com are WRONG.

They are somehow missing the Spurs victory over the Suns on November 8.

So, actually, I'll edit the original post to reflect reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiallo1984 View Post
Actually, for all the Eastern Conference jokes, there are no teams with sub .500 records in their present top 8 while the 8th spot in the West is being held and is in contention among a group of sub-.500 afterthoughts. It definitely suggests that though the top teams in the West are great the bottom half of the West isn't any better than the bottom half of the East.
Yeah, but strength of schedule favors the East. Eastern teams play only 30 games against Western teams, but Western teams play 52 games against Western teams. In the latest Stein power rankings, the West holds the top 5 spots. So a Western team has to play about 8 more games against the top 5 teams than an Eastern team. This is a huge difference.

Quote:
Also, I'm pulling for our boys to maybe finish with a 60-22 record. Let's hope it can happen.
Wow, that'd mean they go 24-4 the rest of the way. They have to win 6 of every 7 games. They have to average a six-game win streak. That is some tough sledding.

However schedule does favor the Spurs. They have 16 home games and only 12 road games left. They have 18 games against sub-par teams and only 10 games against decent teams (TOR, ORL, HOU, DEN, DAL, IND/2, DET, UTA, PHO). Still it'll be tough. You'd have to expect they'll have at least 2 losses out of the UTA, PHO, DAL, HOU games, given their track record this year, so they'd have to really dlean up against everyone else, and be almost perfect.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-07, 12:38 PM
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If we don't get a number 1 seed we're going to have to play both Dallas and Pheonix (unless there's an upset along the way). That's not gonna happen, so let's just finish the season strong and be prepared for anything in the playoffs
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Old 02-21-07, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoMamaIsCallin View Post
Holy missing game, Batman. The standings on nba.com are WRONG.

They are somehow missing the Spurs victory over the Suns on November 8.
It's a vast conspiracy by Stern!

Is Phoenix also missing that game as a loss?
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  #11  
Old 02-21-07, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoMamaIsCallin View Post
Holy missing game, Batman. The standings on nba.com are WRONG.

They are somehow missing the Spurs victory over the Suns on November 8.

So, actually, I'll edit the original post to reflect reality.



Yeah, but strength of schedule favors the East. Eastern teams play only 30 games against Western teams, but Western teams play 52 games against Western teams. In the latest Stein power rankings, the West holds the top 5 spots. So a Western team has to play about 8 more games against the top 5 teams than an Eastern team. This is a huge difference.



Wow, that'd mean they go 24-4 the rest of the way. They have to win 6 of every 7 games. They have to average a six-game win streak. That is some tough sledding.

However schedule does favor the Spurs. They have 16 home games and only 12 road games left. They have 18 games against sub-par teams and only 10 games against decent teams (TOR, ORL, HOU, DEN, DAL, IND/2, DET, UTA, PHO). Still it'll be tough. You'd have to expect they'll have at least 2 losses out of the UTA, PHO, DAL, HOU games, given their track record this year, so they'd have to really dlean up against everyone else, and be almost perfect.
First of all, MIN, POR, NOK, MEM, LAC, SAC, and GSW are on about the same level with many of the non-playoff teams in the East; based on their conference records, they do not have significantly different winning percentages against the West or the East. Most of these teams are carrying about .500 records against the East and aren't particularly far from that type of record against the West. My point is that if a team is mediocre or bad in one conference, that team is likely to be just as mediocre or bad in the other. I also wouldn't put that much weight on what the pundits have to say in that regard; basically, I don't think that teams like the Knicks or Nets are significantly better or worse than a team like the Clips or the Warriors. Also, remember that Stein was a Heat basher all last season and often picked the Spurs and Detroit to win down the stretch--goes to show how useful anyone's predictions can be.

As far as the Spurs finishing the second half of the season with only 4 losses, it's pretty unlikely to happen but the Spurs of previous years (like 02-03) have finished with records that had 6 or so losses in the recent past. Is it too much to assume that they could do as well or better with significantly fewer games against their tougher in division competition? Maybe. But if Dallas can manage a series of double digit win streaks, I'd be willing to bet that the Spurs could certainly pull a couple of six or seven game ones against the somewhat below average teams they'll be playing for the rest of the season.

Last edited by Fiallo1984; 02-21-07 at 01:35 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-07, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAScrub View Post
Since when did we become afraid of facing the Mavs in the second round?

I'm all for getting the best seed possible, but I ain't afraid of the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. We play who's in front of us, when they're put in front of us. If we lose, we lose because we weren't good enough...whether that be in the first round, second round, third round, or finals.
Since 2003, when we don't loose in the second round, we win the Championship. So it is not a bad idea to get the easiest opponent for that round.
But I agree, to be Champions we have to defeat every opponent.
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