The San Antonio Spurs have 16 games remaining in this 66-game season and have set themselves up well for the postseason.
The team currently has a record of 36-14, is leading the Southwest Division and trails only the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top record in the Western Conference.
As was expected by many, the Spurs have quietly picked up on their regular-season performance of last season despite enduring early-season injuries and adversity.
The Spurs have put together several long winning streaks this season and are in the midst of a streak of seven wins in a row.
Tony Parker is quietly enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, Tim Duncan has proven that he is not yet finished and head coach Gregg Popovich was named the NBA coach of the month for March.
Even with the success they have experienced so far this season, the Spurs do have some tough games remaining on their schedule.
While they are pretty well set up to finish in the second position of the Western Conference playoffs, they must be careful with a few key opponents before the playoffs begin.
Date Remaining: April 4
Season Series: 0-0
This game against the Boston Celtics represents the biggest out-of-conference matchup that remains for the San Antonio Spurs.
There will be no shortage of NBA experience on the floor when these two teams meet. Between the two lineups there are several players who will one day end up in the Hall of Fame.
Like the Spurs, the Celtics are winning at the right time this season and are working on a five-game win streak that has helped them to take the lead in the Atlantic Division.
The Celtics are coming off of a big conference win at home against the Miami Heat, and the Spurs will enter the game on the tail end of a back-to-back. The short turnaround and he travel from Cleveland the night before will be an added challenge for the Spurs to overcome.
A victory in this game means more to the Celtics who are fighting to keep their Atlantic Division lead, but every game counts for both teams.
This game will be an entertaining, well played matchup of veteran teams.
In the end it will be a tough one for the Spurs to win and the Celtics should prevail at home.
Dates Remaining: April 8, April 9
Season Series: 2-0
The San Antonio Spurs have had the number of the Utah Jazz over the last decade, especially when playing at home.
This season is no different as the Spurs have beaten the Jazz both times the two teams have played.
One key factor in the wins against the young Jazz is the level of experience that the Spurs players and coaches have in this league.
The two teams will meet two more times this season and it would not be surprising if the Spurs win both matchups.
Thanks to some odd scheduling of this lockout-shortened season, the Spurs and the Jazz will meet in consecutive nights in different states. The first game will take place in Texas and the teams will travel to Utah the next night.
The Spurs should follow the recent pattern of beating the Jazz easily at home, but will have a tougher team on the second night in a row.
The Spurs can not take the up-and-down Jazz lightly and must play well in both games. While the Jazz have struggled at times this season, they also looked really good in the month of March when they beat the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
If the Spurs get an inspired Jazz team they could easily split the two-game series and drop the second game on the road in Utah.
Dates Remaining: April 11, April 17, April 20
Season Series: 0-0
It comes as a bit of a surprise that two of the top teams in the Western Conference have not yet played each other with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season.
Of all the games remaining for the San Antonio Spurs, this trio of matchups against the Los Angeles Lakers are the most important left on the schedule.
The Lakers currently trail the Spurs by just 4.5 games and will look to these three games to make up ground in an attempt to pass the Spurs for the second playoff position.
The Spurs do hold the advantage with two of the three games being at home, but they must be careful not to rely on the home-court advantage when Kobe Bryant comes to town.
While the Spurs have been the more consistent of the two team, these three games will no doubt have a playoff intensity to them as the teams battle for playoff positioning.
In the end the Spurs will win two out of three of these games but will drop one of them at home. They will be able to hold off the Lakers and keep the second playoff spot.
Date Remaining: April 12
Season Series: 3-0
Since losing in the first round of last year's NBA playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs have dominated their division rival in each of the three meetings so far this year.
The Grizzlies are the second-place team in the Southwest Division, but trail the Spurs by 7.5 games.
The Spurs should once again have no problem with the Grizzlies and will pick up another easy division win at home.
Even if the Grizzlies were to win, it would do very little in the division standings and the Spurs will still head into the playoffs as the Southwest Division champions.
These two teams could meet again in the playoffs this season depending on where each finishes. If they do, the Spurs will take care of business and will not allow the Grizzlies to repeat the upset this season.
With one of the top records in the entire NBA, the San Antonio Spurs have all but clinched a playoff berth.
While the Spurs will likely end up in the second playoff position that they now find themselves in, it is possible that they overtake the Oklahoma City Thunder as they currently trail them by only 2.5 games.
Regardless of the team that the Spurs match up with in the first round, the team will not allow a repeat of last season's early playoff exit.
The Spurs will be better prepared to face any of the young up-and-coming teams that may land in the seventh or eight playoff spot and will use their playoff experience to avoid an early end to a great season.
The Spurs will continue their quiet dominance into the playoffs and have a very good chance to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
With future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan inching closer towards the end of his career, the Spurs need to act fast if they are to add another title before he retires.
Even though no one is talking about the Spurs, this team could easily go far in the playoffs and challenge for the NBA title.