The loss to the Clippers on Saturday was rough. Not only because it was lopsided but also because the Spurs are now 14-13 against teams with a record of .500 and over. Last season, they dropped 16 games against such squads in the entire year. The Spurs have been taking advantage of a relatively easy schedule lately, which is exactly what they should do. Now that everyone is back except for Marco Belinelli, however, it would be a great time to start showing improvement against the league's best teams.
The good news is that while the tough losses to the Bulls and the Clippers make the last two weeks seem alarming, the Spurs are still just three games back from third place and the two teams directly above them -- the Mavericks and Rockets -- are suffering from injuries to key players, just like the Spurs did early in the season. There's still time to get everyone in sync and go on a streak that includes the signature wins we all crave.
The next two games are at home against two Eastern teams with a losing record, the Magic and the Heat. The Spurs should end this extended homestead 5-1 and start the easier first leg of the Rodeo Road Trip with their spirits high.
Mark Stein, from ESPN (Spurs rank 5. Last week's rank: 4)
Three more wins will establish Gregg Popovich as just the ninth coach in league history to reach 1,000 wins. Yet something tells me he's far happier with the Spurs' 10-4 January after that brutal 8-10 December. Especially with the annual Rodeo Road Trip looming Sunday and running through Feb. 28.
Drew Garrison, from SB Nation NBA (Spurs rank 10. Last week's rank: 9)
San Antonio is in need of a signature win. They've lost two games since Kawhi Leonard's return, but those two losses were to the Bulls and Clippers by 20 points each. Sunday against the recharged Raptors could be a good check point, though.
Marc J. Spears, from Yahoo Sports (Spurs rank 8. Last week's rank: 7)
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is three victories from 1,000 career wins and in typical fashion is shying away from any spotlight.
USA Today (Spurs rank 10. Last week's rank: 9)
If Kawhi Leonard can ever stay healthy for an entire first half, he will be an All-Star.
John Schuhmann, from NBA.com (Spurs rank 6. Last week's rank 5)
The Spurs' defense has been improved since Kawhi Leonard's return, but offense has been a struggle with Manu Ginobili (36 percent over the last eight games) slumping and Boris Diaw not playing nearly as well as he did last season. Saturday's loss to the Clippers was their second by 20-plus in 10 days and, by far, their worst home loss of the season.