The Buccaneers have a talented roster, but Tampa Bay has its work cut out with the list of teams on its 2018 schedule.
Biggest breaks: The schedule overall is tough, but the Buccaneers caught a few breaks in drawing some of their more difficult opponents at home. Aside from the Bucs’ divisional foes, the Eagles, Steelers and 49ers all have to travel to Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay of late has not had the greatest home-field advantage, but anything helps.
Bottom line: The Buccaneers have been the same team for a few years — on the cusp of breaking out. But that breakout hasn’t happened yet, and their 2018 slate won’t help. Having to play six games against the Saints, Panthers and Falcons is rough enough, but throw in teams like the Eagles and Steelers, and it’s tough to see a winning season for Tampa Bay. Record prediction: 6-10
“What they were going through the last week was awful,” Thompson said. “I can’t imagine how hard it is to go out there and perform under those circumstances.”
Spurs assistant Ettore Messina coached San Antonio for a third straight playoff game.
“Pop, if you’re watching out there, we love you,” Kerr said. “Our whole team and coaching staff has been thinking about you every day. Your team reflected who you are tonight.”
Kerr didn’t want to guess when Curry might be cleared. The two-time MVP is scheduled to be re-evaluated later this week as he works back from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he injured March 23 the same night he returned from a six-game absence with his latest right ankle injury.
“We’ll see. We are locked in on tonight. Steph has been coming into the gym every day working and he’s doing his thing and we are doing ours,” Kerr said. “We are just hoping for the best. Not making any predictions.”