The Spurs lost three games in a row, and they barely beat Sacramento without Demarcus Cousins. Predictably, the good guys fell in the rankings, and that seems fair. The Spurs haven't been good lately. San Antonio did get Tiago Splitter back, and Danny Green should return soon, so things should get better for the Spurs quickly.
The first signs of attrition from the endless stream of injuries (Kawhi, Tiago, Danny Green and now Manu) are showing. After 43 games without a losing streak of any kind, San Antonio needed a win over short-handed Sacramento to avoid its first three-game skid at home since January 2010.
When healthy, the Spurs are clearly a top five team in the NBA. But that's just not the case right now, hence the huge drop. San Antonio was on the verge of losing four games in a row before a late surge barely got them past Sacramento on Saturday. The good news is Tiago Splitter has returned from his injury.
The Spurs embark on their annual rodeo trip with exactly one healthy, NBA-quality wing. They've shot 29 percent from 3-point range over their last four games and would have a four-game losing streak if Rudy Gay's potential game-winner went in on Saturday. Tiago Splitter is back, but at this point, they're just trying to survive the next few weeks. You can only plug so many lesser talents into the system.
The Spurs at No. 7? Well, injuries have really hurt them. They're also letting every team hang around. The Kings really had a hold on that game but were too King-y to take it. The Spurs aren't coasting, they're actually struggling.
The good news: Sparkles is back.