The San Antonio Spurs have a fantastic opportunity to take a two and a half game lead in the Western Conference with six to play when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. There is no question the contest will be of epic proportions.
If Oklahoma City wants any chance of clinching the West, they will have to find a way to defeat San Antonio at home. Considering how talented the Western Conference is this season, the difference between the No. 1 and No. 2 seed could be the difference of playing in the NBA Finals or going home early.
The Spurs still have a few obstacles to overcome after their contest against the Thunder concludes. Home against the Atlanta Hawks and on the road against the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers will be no easy task. With that being said, it is even more critical that San Antonio takes care of business when they travel to Oklahoma City.
Considering the Spurs have already taken two of three games against the Thunder this season, a victory will give them the advantage if both teams finish with the same record. It is also important to point out that San Antonio has won five of their last seven appearances in Oklahoma City, which should definitely boost their confidence.
However, if power forward Tim Duncan, small forward Kawhi Leonard and point guard Tony Parker are unable to suit up, the Spurs will have a difficult time coming out on top. It is hard to imagine the leaders on the team missing a contest of this magnitude, but it appears it will come down to a game-time decision.
With or without Duncan, Leonard and Parker, San Antonio will have to move the ball with lightning speed in order to be victorious. The fact that they lead the league in assists per game (25.1) and also have the best record in the West is no coincidence.
Make sure to tune in to the game at 8:30 PM CT on TNT.