The San Antonio Spurs lost their first home game of the season in a 92-86 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday in what was their second defeat in four nights against their Western Conference rivals, but judging by the reactions of the team after the game, you wouldn't have known it.
Losing three times out of four to the team you are likely to have to overcome in order to reach the NBA finals would have any team fearing the worst and having doubts, but that isn't the San Antonio way.
The Spurs have never been a team to focus too much on the regular season as they know it counts for nothing in the playoffs. In 2014 the Spurs finished the year with a 2-9 record against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets, and the L.A. Clippers, the other three teams to make up the top four positions in the west that year.
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After losing in the previous NBA finals to the Miami Heat in a gruelling seven games, many doubted whether the Spurs were able to recover mentally. As they always do, they proved everybody wrong and went on to claim their fifth championship with a dominant series against the Heat in a rematch.
Greg Popovich acknowledged the Warriors as the "best team on the planet" on Thursday, and despite losing three times to Steve Kerr's men, the results will not have too much of a bearing on how things unfold in the postseason.
"We played a hell of a team, and I thought our aggressiveness, our attention to detail, was much better than [Thursday night's loss at Golden State]," Popovich said after the game. "They did a lot of good things out there. I'm really happy with how we performed."
While Golden State will be chasing history with their 73rd win of the campaign on Wednesday, the Spurs will instead be focusing on making sure their roster is healthy for the start of the playoffs this weekend.
Popovich's teams are not ones to dwell on results, particularly during an 82-game campaign, and you can fully expect them to come out firing and be determined to meet the Warriors in the Western Conference finals if they both make it that far.
"It's a whole different ball game in the playoffs," David West said when asked whether the Warriors now hold a psychological advantage, via ESPN. "Hopefully, it will be another two months, or whatever it is, a month and a half until we see them again. Our job is just to keep improving and prepare ourselves now for a tough first-round matchup against whomever; just keep developing who we are."
San Antonio will not feel sorry for themselves and will not dwell on outcomes from the season, instead, you can expect them to come back stronger on the court and provide us with that mouthwatering clash with the Dubs that every basketball fan is desperate to see.