Just as it seemed that the defending champs were rounding into shape, they hit another speed bump.
The San Antonio Spurs have won four of their last five games, with their only loss in the span to the all-of-a-sudden mighty Detroit Pistons by one. Tony Parker was rounding into form after missing a chunk of December, and there was good news concerning the return of Kawhi Leonard (he started travelling with the team for the first time since injuring his hand).
The good vibes didn't last long. Manu Ginobili (back spasms) left last Friday's contest midway into the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns with back spasms. He was later ruled out after being evaluated by team doctors. He is listed as probable for tonight's contest against the Washington Wizards.
Kawhi Leonard (bruised right hand), who has missed 12 straight games, is listed as being out for tonight's contest, but good news could be on the horizon. It was reported last week that Leonard has seen less inflammation in his right hand and could return to action within two weeks.
Marco Belinelli (mild strain, left groin) is listed as questionable tonight, as he sat out the last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Belinelli will likely test his injury in as he did before the Timberwolves game to determine if he can go or not.