Doom, doom, doom!
After deflating losses to the Jazz and Lakers, our experts have dropped the Spurs between two and nine spots in their respective rankings. They're still hanging in the top five in a handful of lists, while Power Rankings favorite Matt Moore has them at lucky 13.
The disparity underscores the difficulty many writers are having in assessing a team that has pulled off road wins against many top teams (Golden State, LAC, Memphis and Cleveland), while managing to lose to some of the league's cellar dwellers.
But this has been a complicated season -- a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lot of what-have-you's and very little consistency. Health has been a big factor, of course, with Pop throwing out nearly every possible combination of starting five, but so has a lack of focus that has defined many of the early upsets. It all amounts to an acid trip of highs and lows, with each game taking on a different feel.
As the team takes on an onslaught of Western powers over these next few weeks, it'll be hoping to show more of its good side. The margin for error in the West is slim, and the Spurs won't be wanting to play catch-up in the second half of the year.
This week's tough tests begin tonight with a game in Portland, followed by home tilts against the Grizzlies and Blazers (again), finishing up in Dallas on Saturday. Realistically, a 2-2 split wouldn't be too disappointing a result. But that's just, like, my opinion, man.
No Spur has started all of San Antonio's 24 games to date. Only three Spurs have appeared in all of those games: Aron Baynes, Boris Diaw and Danny Green. And yet only two teams -- Golden State and Dallas -- have a higher net efficiency reading than San Antonio's plus-7.6 when combining OE and DE.
Drew Garrison from SBNation NBA (Spurs rank: 8, last week's rank: 4)
It was a disastrous week for the Spurs. They dropped games to both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers and fell out of the top five for it. Someone just give Pop' a break.
Mark J. Spears from Yahoo! Sports (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 2)
San Antonio faces Portland twice, Memphis, Dallas, the Clippers and Oklahoma City in its next six games.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 6, last week's rank: 4)
Tim Duncan is having his best rebounding season in seven years. Why retire?
John Schuhmann from NBA.com (Spurs rank: 5, last week's rank: 2)
The Spurs have developed a habit of losing to bad teams in games in which they weren't resting healthy players. Last week, they couldn't shoot against the Jazz and couldn't stop the Lakers until the fourth quarter. And now they're in fifth place in the West, with their next 10 games (a stretch that includes three back-to-backs) against other teams in the top 10.
Matt Moore from CBSSports.com (Spurs rank: 13, last week's rank: 4)
It is a testament to how much respect San Antonio demands that after a week notable for losses to the Jazz and the Lakers -- the Lakers! -- they remain in the top 15. But you always feel like they're two seconds from turning on the jets and running away with the conference. I refuse to start looking at their weaknesses and then feel stupid five months later.