Must-Win #5: April 6 at San Antonio Spurs
It may seem odd to have this game as the last, and in some ways most important, game on the slate, but it represents a rarity for the Blazers the rest of the way: a gimme game. The Spurs are one of the worst teams in the NBA this year, and if Portland wants a chance at the playoffs, they’ll need to take care of business against an inferior opponent.
That hasn’t been an issue for them so far, as they’ve beaten San Antonio all three times they’ve faced them this year. Lillard put up 37 points in each of the last two contests, and the Blazers have shellacked the Spurs with a 14-point margin of victory across the games.
It won’t matter how much they beat them by again, as only the victory will matter – but a mark of a worthy playoff team is both how well they play against the top competition, but also how handily they dispatch the teams on the squishy side of the schedule.
It would be a disastrous and deflating loss for Portland to drop this game in San Antonio, as it may come down to just a game or two between teams who make the play-in and those who don’t. If they lose this game, this loss will likely go down as the worst of the whole season and haunt the players during their offseason spent without any playoff basketball.