Share “Thunder: No. 1 seed in Western Conference...”

Thunder: No. 1 seed in Western Conference is suddenly in doubt

San Antonio is the hottest team in the NBA, and the Spurs might pass Oklahoma City for a prime playoff seeding.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 5, 2012

The Thunder also is 11-4 against Eastern Conference teams and swept last year's two-game series with the Pacers.

But seven of the Thunder's final 12 games are on the road, including a potentially fatal five-game road trip from April 14-22. Meanwhile, the Spurs will play eight of their final 14 games at home.

Oddly enough, though, one factor that possibly could assist the Thunder in securing home-court advantage is, of all things, the Spurs.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich admits to having little concern about his team's seeding, and the future Hall of Fame coach has proved time and time again that he will sacrifice seeding to rest his players for the postseason.

“We've been in both situations,” Popovich said. “We've had the top seed and won. We've had the top seed and gotten beat in the first round. And we've been lower and won. So I've learned over the years it's more about what kind of a rhythm you have going into the playoffs, how much the team trusts and believes in itself and health. Those things have a lot more to do with it than where you're seeded.”

Popovich, however, concedes that having a game seven at home is a huge help.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks echoes Popovich's sentiments. But as a younger, less battle-tested team, the Thunder might need home-court advantage more than the Spurs.

“It would be great to have, but it's not something that I have one time talked to the team about,” Brooks said. “We just focus on each game. If we end up No. 1 great. If we end up 2, we still have to go through a lot of teams to get to where we want to get to. And everybody feels the same way in this league.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
+ show more


  1. 1
    Baltimore scrambles to save tourism, conventions |
  2. 2
    Excited Josh Hamilton happy to be home with Rangers
  3. 3
    Sesame Street Does Avengers With ''Aveggies'' Parody
  4. 4
    Tulsa city auditor arrested on DUI complaint
  5. 5
    Report: Men's college basketball likely headed toward 30-second shot clock
+ show more