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NBA Power Rankings Week 9: Spurs marching to beat of a different drum

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The Spurs kept on trucking last week and are tied for second in the West, despite a Christmas-day loss to the Houston Rockets. As we say goodbye to 2013, let's have a look at how they're ranked this week.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio went 3-1 last week, as they split games against their in-state rivals and won the other two against Rudy Gay's new and former clubs. It didn't do much to move the needle in either direction and, at this stage of the season, that may be just how the Spurs like it.

There are five teams left in the league with single digits in the loss column. With the 24-7 Spurs being one of them, it should be no surprise that they rank among the top five in most of the lists below (CBS Sports' Matt Moore once again plays his token Scrooge). Unfortunately, the team's 0-6 record against the other four clubs is the reason you'll find them at the bottom of that elite rung. It's an issue that shouldn't worry Spurs fans much -- for now.

Pop continues to march to the beat of his own drum through the holiday season, eschewing marquee victories for roster experimentation. For now it works, as we collectively shrug off the relative triviality of a win in December. But with the Thunder flexing their muscles through another Westbrook injury and the Blazers continuing their excellent play, how long can such optimism last?

Marc Stein from ESPN, (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 6)

Can't say it better than Tim Duncan said it on Christmas Day when a pesky reporter brought up San Antonio's 0-6 record against the other four teams inhabiting the top five of the Western Conference: "In December, it doesn't matter as much. But it's starting to matter more and more."

Marc J. Spears from Yahoo! Sports (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 4)

The Spurs have a nice record, but are short on elite-level victories. San Antonio has lost to Oklahoma City and Houston (both twice) and Indiana, Portland and the Clippers.

Jason Patt from SBNation NBA (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 5)

The Spurs went 3-1 last week, but in the high profile matchup on Christmas against the Rockets, things went very poorly. San Antonio gave up 40 points in the first quarter and while they did make a run, still lost by 13 on their home court. So a troubling trend of losing to the NBA's other top teams continues.

USA Today (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 4)

Their rivalry with the Mavericks matters enough that Tim Duncan played both ends of a back-to-back.

John Schuhmann from NBA.com (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 6)

Westbrook's injury, the Blazers' bad defense, and a home-heavy schedule over the next few weeks should allow the Spurs to take back the top spot in the West. Manu Ginobili continues to look fantastic (especially considering how he played in June) and had his best game of the season against the Kings on Sunday, scoring 28 points, hitting four threes, and leading a fourth-quarter comeback.

Matt Moore from CBSSports.com (Spurs rank: 7, last week's rank 4)

They go through these weird swoons in between looking superhuman. I call them "Banner weeks."

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