For Spurs, simply making NBA play-in not enough

As the NBA’s crazy COVID-19 season winds down to its final 10 days, Jakob Poeltl finds himself in a situation different than most fans.

The Spurs center is not keeping daily tabs on the Western Conference standings and his team’s precarious position in them.

“I don’t really keep up with it from game to game,” Poeltl said. “We can’t control what the other teams do and if they win or lose games. At this point of the season, we just have to get as many wins as we can.”

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Indeed, victories would be nice as the Spurs strive to keep their playoff hopes alive.

They might not be totally necessary.

The Spurs went into Wednesday’s rematch at Utah riding a four-game losing streak, yet they were closer to securing a spot in the West’s new play-in tournament than they were before the skid began.

At 31-33 before Wednesday, the Spurs were in 10th place, a game behind Memphis and Golden State in eighth.

More importantly, in the quest to extend their schedule beyond the May 16 regular-season finale, the Spurs were three games ahead of 11th-place New Orleans in the loss column.

Given the Pelicans’ closing schedule — the fourth-toughest in the NBA — it is possible the Spurs could back in to the final play-in slot without winning another game. With the Spurs owning the head-to-head…

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Jeff McDonald

Jeff McDonald

San Antonio Express-News

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Lead Spurs beat writer for the San Antonio Express-News. Fun enthusiast. Can’t sing the blues all night long like he used to.

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