Welcome back to our weekly power rankings roundup, a game where everything's (mostly) made up and the points (definitely) don't matter. As in years past, we'll collate perspectives on the Spurs from around the web, put forth our own biased take, and leave it to you to dissect it all in the comments below.
November is the NBA equivalent to the seventh grade: an awkward month where mustachioed early-bloomers share the hallways with falsetto-pitched baby faces. Sure, maturation will come, but it won't always be a pretty process.
Nine games in, the Spurs have the league's third-best record and second-best win differential, but you wouldn't assume that from watching any of the wins in a vacuum. The starting five is a work in process; Danny Green has an 86 Off Rtg, and the schedule has been favorable to say the least.
The Spurs have a few things (beside their record) going for them thus far: a) most teams not based in Oakland are undergoing their own identity crises; b) San Antoino is playing very good defense; c) the bench is consistently out-playing opposing second units, and d) Tim Duncan is still Tim Duncan.
No team is currently where they'll want to be come mid-April, but the Spurs are doing enough things right to stay ahead of the curve for now, which explains their high rank in the lists below.
Marc Stein, from ESPN (Spurs rank: 2. Last week's rank: 4)
Tim Duncan is only San Antonio's fourth-leading scorer these days, but he's a decent bet to become the only player to average at least 10 points and nine boards over a full season at age 39 or older besides Robert Parish. The Spurs awoke Monday at No. 1 in defensive efficiency, with Timmy naturally still at the heart of their team D.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: N/A)
Ho hum, they're one of the league's best teams
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: 7)
LaMarcus Aldridge is starting to get comfortable in the Spurs' offense, averaging 18.0 points on 51 percent shooting (with a much higher percentage of his buckets being assisted) as the team has won four straight games. Saturday's win over Philly began a seven-game stretch for the Spurs where six of the games are at home vs. an opponent that's playing the 2nd night of a back-to-back.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (Spurs rank: 2. Last week's rank: 6)
Do not be fooled, the Spurs are here by default. Their early season schedule is an absolute cupcake factory. You can say they've won seven of eight, or you can say they beat the Hornets, Kings, Blazers and Sixers, and that those teams hung until the fourth quarter. Don't get me wrong, the numbers say the Spurs are juggernaut. There are blemishes on the paint job, though. The starting unit, in particular, has not been great.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: 3)
The most talented Spurs roster in years has put out a balanced, efficient product thus far (surprise!), and all is well in San Antonio. They’ve covered more than adequately as Danny Green, who’s shooting just 30% from the floor, tries to work out some kinks.