A month ago, the San Antonio Spurs were cruising with the NBA‘s best record and figured they would finish the season that way. That would include a third straight No. 1 Western Conference playoff seed and home court advantage in the NBA Finals if the Spurs were to make it that far. However, that’s all up in the air now as the Miami Heat have tied the second-longest winning streak in league history with 22 and have matched the Spurs with 51 wins this season. San Antonio is also without Tony Parker, who will likely be out until the end of the month with an ankle sprain. Needless to say, the shift in power is changing for the 2012-13 NBA season.
In fact, the Spurs no longer control their own destiny, as far as the league’s best record goes anyway. San Antonio has lost in both trips to Miami this year, so it doesn’t matter what happens when the Heat come to Texas on Easter Sunday in relation to the two teams’ head-to-head season series.
Now this really only comes into play if the Spurs and Heat meet in the 2013 NBA Finals, which is very possible. It’s safe to say there’s no team in the Eastern Conference that can challenge the Heat in the playoffs and there are only three that can challenge the Spurs in the West, but only one of those is a true threat and that’s the Oklahoma City Thunder. No disrespect to the Los Angeles Clippers or Memphis Grizzlies, but they’re not ready to contend at the game’s biggest level just yet.
Of course, the Heat’s streak could be just beginning. They could tie or break the all-time record of 33 games and that would almost certainly guarantee them home court advantage in the NBA Finals. In other words, Miami is on its way to a second straight title unless Parker comes back and sets the woods on fire again. That’s certainly a possibility, so we’re in for one heck of a series in June either way.