That loss to the Pistons still hurts. The Spurs could be on a five-game winning streak right now. Alas, the team couldn't close the game out, Detroit won their sixth straight that night and a meme was born. Four of the last five isn't bad, however, especially with Tony Parker back on the court and Kawhi Leonard expected to return soon. The win against the Suns, in particular, was valuable as the Spurs beat a direct rival that was hard on their heels while the victory over the Timberwolves showed San Antonio can still beat bad teams even when shorthanded.
Seven Spurs finished the week averaging double-digit scoring, although it does feel like cheating to include Austin Daye, who only played one game, in the list. The best part? Neither Parker nor Manu Ginobili were among them, which signals just how deep the Spurs are and how much better they could be when (if?) they finally get healthy. The only player to average more than 30 minutes -- asides from Daye, of course -- was Danny Green. It's reassuring to see that after injuries forced some players to overextend themselves earlier in the season, things are finally going back to normal.
It's not out of the question that at some point this week the Spurs will have their full squad as they face the Wizards, Hornets or Trail Blazers. Even if it doesn't happen this upcoming week, it shouldn't be too long before we see the Spurs at full strength, barring new injuries.
Hopefully our usual experts feel as optimistic about the Spurs' play recently and their future as I do.
Marc Stein, from ESPN, (Spurs rank 7. Last week's rank: 7)
This is the first time in a long time -- going all the way back, in fact, to 2009-10 -- that the Spurs will lose more than 15 games before the All-Star break. Their 23 wins in 38 games is actually tied for the lowest win total through 38 games in the Tim Duncan era, matching a 23-15 start in 2000-01.
Drew Garrison, from SB Nation NBA, (Spurs rank 10. Last week's rank: 9)
Judging the Spurs is hard to do while Kawhi Leonard continues to miss time, but he traveled with San Antonio for the first time since injuring his hand.
Marc J. Spears, from Yahoo Sports, (Spurs rank 10. Last week's rank: 12)
Health is the reigning champ's biggest opponent. Because of injuries, San Antonio has used 21 starting lineups this season.
USA Today, (Spurs rank 11. Last week's rank: 11)
Danny Green, who usually saves his best for the Finals, has become an unsung regular-season hero.
John Schuhmann, from NBA.com, (Spurs rank 4. Last week's rank: 7)
The Spurs know drama. They've played the most games that were within five points in the last five minutes and are just 13-13 in those games after a brutal loss against Detroit and a comeback win against Phoenix. Tony Parker is back and Kawhi Leonard is back to traveling with the team, but they've added two more injuries (Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli).
Matt Moore, from CBS Sports, (Spurs rank 8. Last week's rank: 14)
Uh-oh. Since the Spurs held Star Wars night this week (their only loss in the past five games), here's a quote: "That's no moon." The loss to the Pistons disguised the fact that Spurs, after beating the Suns on Saturday, have won four of five. I'm half-convinced they lost to the Pistons just to throw us off the scent. They're coming.