Inching Towards The Panic Button
The Spurs currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 26-18. That means that they have won 59% of their games. If they were to win 59% of their remaining games then they would have another 22 wins and finish with a record of 48-34. That is the same record that the Utah Jazz snuck into the playoffs with last year as the 8th seed.
Ahhh, but not so fast, young padawan. There’s more…
The Spurs have won 17 of 27 games at home (63%), and 8 of 17 on the road (47%) this season. Their remaining schedule has them playing 24 games on the road, so based on their winning percentage on the road this season they would win about 11 away-games. They play 14 more home games, so based on their performance so far, they should win nine of those. That would give them a record of 46-36, or the same record as Phoenix last year. If you’ll recall, the Suns missed the playoffs even with Shaq playing 75 games. The Spurs are only 1.5 games ahead of ninth place Phoenix right now.
Winning Teams vs. Losing Teams
What if we throw out the schedule and just look at their performance versus the “good” teams, or teams with winning records (aka above-.500 teams)? The Spurs have won 9-of-24 games against those teams, which is only 38%. Their remaining schedule has them playing 26-of-38 games against teams who currently have winning records. If they only won 38% of those games, that would be only about 10 wins, with only 22 total for the remainder of the season IF they won all 12 games against the sub-.500 teams. Since they have won 85% of their games versus sub-.500 teams (17-of-20), winning at the same clip would give them another 10 wins. So based on the level of competition, the numbers say that the Spurs will win only 20 more games. That would leave them with the same record of 46-36, making them the equivalent of last year’s Phoenix Suns.
Now with Tony Parker hurt again, and the Spurs defying the odds with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili holding up for this long, how can anyone be blamed for inching closer and closer to the panic button? Is a trade the answer? Is it a chemistry thing that will work itself out? Is it just the Spurs getting it all together in their own sweet time as usual? I couldn’t tell you, but I know they need to be quick about fixing their problems, and not just by losing three games a week with one occasional blowout victory thrown in. Otherwise, we’ll be on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Date: January 28, 2010