Much was made after the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors in early March to secure the tiebreaker. The win gave the Spurs a chance to unseat the Warriors from the top of the standings in the West by becoming the No. 1 seed and having home-court advantage in a possible playoff matchup with Golden State. But all of those hypotheticals flew out the window on Wednesday after the Warriors came from behind to defeat the Spurs, 110-98.
San Antonio could still conceivably get the No. 1 seed but that would be incredibly tough for the Spurs as they would have to essentially win all of their remaining games to surpass the Warriors. Plus considering San Antonio’s history of resting its star players down the stretch of a season, it seems unlikely that the Spurs could finish out the season on a perfect note. Compounding all of this, the Spurs play teams like the Jazz, Thunder, Grizzlies and Blazers that are jockeying for playoff positioning. Those are teams that have something to play for and will play the Spurs as tough as they can. But perhaps the biggest factor that will prevent the Spurs from getting the No. 1 seed is the distance of separation Golden State has already created between San Antonio in the standings.
The Warriors are 3.5 games ahead of the Spurs in the standings. And while the Warriors, like the Spurs, will likely also rest their stars, Golden State has an easier end of season schedule than San Antonio. Of their remaining seven games, Golden State only plays three playoff bound teams in the Wizards, Jazz and Rockets. Houston is likely the more difficult team out of the three to play but Golden State has beat the Rockets in their last two meetings.
Also going for the Warriors, is that only one of their remaining seven games is on road (against the lowly Suns) while the Spurs have four games away from their home-court at the AT&T Center. That means that Golden State will mainly close out the season in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena, where they are a league best 31-4. Yet another factor that likely means Golden State will finish with the No. 1 seed in the West for the third straight year.
The Spurs were right behind the Warriors all year and it seems very likely that will be the case once the season comes to an end on April 12.