In the beginning there was Chaos,
And within this Chaos was Power,
Great Power without Form.
Yet within Chaos there was Motion,
And within Motion was Form,
And within this Motion were the Words,
Which shaped the Motion, and gave it Form
- Book One, Verrah Rubricon, "The History of the World", Warhammer
The early days of the NBA season, like the genesis story of Warhammer's Realm of Divine Magic, involve an amorphous world coming into shape. The typically-high-flying Thunder are lurking at the bottom of the West board; the Raptors and Wizards are laying waste to the Eastern armies, and Dallas is posting historically-critical attack numbers -- all while the ageing Titan Kobe Bryant stands alone on the smoldering battlefield, firing away against the dawn light.
But while some teams have their paths pre-decided, most heroes' stories are yet to be written. Injuries and varying schedule strengths mean we're still differentiating between the contenders and pretenders, and the sages' opinions featured below underline that.
The Spurs reeled off four wins in a row last week to improve to 9-4 on the season, with three of them coming by double digits. But a four-game streak is barely enough to keep pace in the trenches of the Western front, where already five teams have reached the 10-win mark (the East by contrast has one). Making things all the more complicated is the fact that the Southwest Division is by far the toughest in the league, with the 7-5 New Orleans Pelicans currently in last place.
In recent news, rookie Kyle Anderson has been sent down and recalled from the D-League already. He put up an 18-11-6 line in his one game, against the Santa Cruz Warriors.
This week's schedule is a light one for the Silver and Black: home tilts against Indiana and Sacramento and the start of a four-game road trip with a visit to Bean Town to play the Celtics. Barring a revenge match against the surprising Kings, San Antonio has a good chance of extending its win streak to seven in closing out the month of November.
The march through the miasma of chaos continues.
Marc Stein from ESPN, (Spurs rank: 4, last week's rank: 4)
Kawhi is looking more like Kawhi. San Antonio looked awfully Spurs-like in the only game of the week that really mattered. The only legit area of concern for the champs is Tiago Splitter's ongoing health issues. They'll need him in the playoffs no matter how good the D looks statistically without him.
Drew Garrison from SBNation NBA (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 6)
Just another ho-hum 4-0 week for the defending champs. They squeaked by LeBron James and the Cavaliers, but easily handled the 76ers, Nets and Timberwolves. The Spurs look like they're back on track after a slow start, winning seven of their last eight games.
Mark J. Spears from Yahoo! Sports (Spurs rank: 9, last week's rank: 10)
The reigning NBA champs seem to be back to their old selves, winning four straight and seven of eight.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 8, last week's rank: 11)
The scary part is that no one player has been carrying them or been particularly hot.
John Schuhmann from NBA.com (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 9)
The Spurs righted the ship a little bit with impressive, back-to-back road wins over the Clippers and Warriors. But something's wrong when Tony Parker is their best 3-point shooter, and it may be time to start worrying about Tiago Splitter, a vital cog who has been able to play just 10 minutes this season, dealing with some unexplained pain in his right calf.
Matt Moore from CBSSports.com (Spurs rank: 8, last week's rank: 14)
They're not the same team without Tiago Splitter (and to an extent, Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli). But since the Kings loss, they rattled off four straight wins, none vs. teams which are over .500. But being the Spurs carries credit. The schedule stays soft through the end of the month as well.