Tony Parker: 'We’re in playoff mode right now'
Despite dealing with countless injuries and seemingly endless lineup changes this season, the San Antonio Spurs are in the think of things in the West playoff race, currently sitting in the 4th spot.
Not bad for a team living without their star forward Kawhi Leonard and having to rely on younger players this season to help the Spurs keep their streak of postseason appearances alive.
In their last 10 games, the Spurs have gone 8-2 which includes an impressive win over Houston and a team looking like it is finding its stride at the right time late in the season.
However, for most of the season, things looked bleak for San Antonio.
At one point they were completely out of the playoff picture, saw their streak of above .500 road -play record snapped, and now run the risk of seeing their 50-win season streak ending.
Not to mention the specter of missing the playoffs entirely is still hanging over their collective shoulders should they lose a few games to close out the regular-season.
But that hasn't deterred the team as Spurs veteran guard Tony Parker believes the team will make the postseason.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Parker touched on the Spurs' up-and-down season but made it clear, they are in full playoff mode.
We’re in playoff mode right now. But if you think about it, in 16 seasons, I’ve been in eight conference finals, five NBA Finals, made the playoffs every year. To a certain extent, yeah you take it for granted, but it’s still very hard to qualify for the playoffs. Every year everybody wants to beat us. This year is a great example, with all the injuries we’ve been having, that it’s not easy to make the playoffs that often. Right now we’re fighting. We still believe we’re going to make the playoffs, but it’s unusual. It’s been a different season this year.
It definitely has been unusual to witness the Spurs struggle this season.
San Antonio has for two decades been a lock for the postseason. Not they are fighting for their playoff lives.
Usually they are in the hunt for a top-seed in the West. Now any position in the playoffs will be a success.
But this positive attitude will hopefully thrust the Spurs into the postseason on the right foot however they have their work cut out for them.
Left on their regular-season slate are the Blazers, Clippers, and Pelicans as well as a few road games where the team has struggled this entire season. Those teams are also looking for playoff footing and won't lay down.
But as they have proven year after year, and time and time again - you can never count out the Spurs.