Ric Bucher's post on San Antonio Spurs | Latest updates on Sulia
A totally unofficial, informal poll of various GMs/Scouts has the odds tilting now toward the Lakers sneaking into
the playoffs and the Utah Jazz dropping out. That, in fact, is why the cynics/conspiracists are suggesting Gregg Popovich came out so definitively about Tony Parker missing a month due to his recently sprained ankle; that then provides the Spurs the plausible explanation for slipping from the top perch in the Western Conference to the No. 2 slot, in anticipation of the Lakers sliding into the 8th spot. It's kind of a silly notion since the last three spots in the West are so closely bunched at the moment that the Lakers are as capable of sliding into the 7th spot as the 8th (the Warriors having 16 of their final 22 games at home has most believing the 6th seed is theirs even though they're only a half-game ahead of No. 7 Utah); but I can't quite fault anyone for seeing ulterior motives in any Pop pronouncement. It is a bit odd to rule Parker out for a month right off the bat -- a range of 2-4 weeks is generally given for sprains, no matter how severe, and the Spurs are convinced if they hadn't met the Grizzlies in the first round two years ago they could've done what the Mavericks did.