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Power Rankings Week 13: Spurs are alright, poised to move up

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The top of the league standings is a party of two, while the Cavs look reborn and the Thunder remain on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. But where does that leave the 29-17 San Antonio Spurs in this week's edition of our leaguewide hype-o-thetical rankings?

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The third quarter of the Bulls game was one of the more futile periods of basketball we've seen from San Antonio this year (especially given the group that was out there), which brought about the team's only loss of the week. Because of that, the needle hasn't really moved much for the Spurs, who continue stranded on the island that is the seventh seed in the West.

One 23-point loss aside, the Good Guys are gradually gaining momentum in a pool that's due for a few slip-ups. Houston and Portland are experiencing health problems, and the gap between San Antonio and eighth (Phoenix) is more than between them and the four seed (Houston). If the Spurs were a grade in your college sociology class, they'd be like a B-minus. Which is alright for me.

But 'alright' isn't where I see this team finishing at the end of the year, even if it means not ending up with the one seed -- or even the NBA championship belt which, in case you're wondering, is with the Cavs right now.

This is a light week for Pop's boys, with just two home games on Wednesday (Charlotte) and Saturday (LA). There won't be much of a chance to move up in the standings (although Dallas doesn't have an easy slate of games ahead of them), but after a hellish December the next couple of weeks are welcome.

Marc Stein, from ESPN, (Spurs rank 4. Last week's rank: 5)

It's been a busy 46 games, to say the least, for Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have been forced through their various injuries to trot out 23 different starting lineups already, which is second-most in the league (behind New York's 26) and only seven short of San Antonio's total for all of last season.

Drew Garrison, from SB Nation NBA, (Spurs rank 9. Last week's rank: 10)

The Spurs have lost just one game since Kawhi Leonard's return, running into Derrick Rose on a former-MVP Rose night. Their game against the Clippers on Saturday is a big one in the Western Conference.

Marc J. Spears, from Yahoo Sports, (Spurs rank 8. Last week's rank: 10)

The last time the Spurs did not have an All-Star was in 1997, the season before Tim Duncan's rookie year.

USA Today, (Spurs rank 9. Last week's rank: 9)

Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is back, and they look like champions again. It's funny how that works.

John Schuhmann, from NBA.com, (Spurs rank 5. Last week's rank: 3)

The Spurs still have their hiccups (see Thursday's 23-point loss in Chicago), but they haven't had to play any overtimes this month and Tim Duncan's minutes are falling back toward the 30-per-game mark. They have four more games at home (where all but one of their losses have come in the final seconds of regulation or in OT) before the rodeo trip.

Matt Moore, from CBS Sports, (Spurs rank 4. Last week's rank: 3)

The loss to the Bulls on Thursday was odd. But the overall effect remains the same. The Spurs are 8-2 in their past 10 and are only 2.5 games back of having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. You stumble, they strike.

Consensus track: