As Manu Ginobili accurately pointed out following their most recent win in Houston, the Spurs may not be as good as they appeared in the first week of the season (yet), but they aren’t as bad as their recent struggles at home suggest, either. It’s all about not panicking and simply getting better every game.
With Tony Parker back to manage the game, Danny Green helping out on the perimeter, and Patty Mills playing his best role as spark plug off the bench, Kawhi Leonard can hopefully gain a better understanding of when to take over on offense versus just going with the flow, and the Spurs’ precipitant fall in the Power Rankings should end here.
The Spurs are 5-0 on the road, but have been treading water since their 4-0 start, working their starting backcourt back into the lineup. Kawhi Leonard's usage rate has seen a bigger jump this season than it did last season, and he's dialing his own number more often. With just three assists in his last four games, his assist rate (assists per 100 possessions used) is at a career-low 10.1. His free throw rate is at a career-high 42 attempts per 100 shots from the field and he's 74-for-76 (97.4 percent) from the stripe.
David Aldrdige, NBA.com - 4 (last week: 4)
They’ve already lost three times as many regular season home games this season as they did all of last season.
Marc Stein, ESPN - 7 (last week: 4)
Although the Spurs did manage to avoid their first four-game home losing streak since way back in 2002 by beating Detroit on Friday night, they've still got us asking an unusually high number of Spurs questions. Namely: Is Tony Parker's slow start just a slow start? And: Are Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge likely to prove they're a good fit together on the same front line? Most of all: Why haven't we seen more of the team that utterly smoked Golden State on opening night?
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated - 5 (last week: 4)
It’s worth noting the team defense hasn’t been up to San Antonio’s lofty standard. That’s the predictable effect of swapping Pau Gasol for Tim Duncan.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports - 5 (last week: 3)
The Spurs remain top ten in both offense (6th) and defense (6th), and they're hitting 3's now, which is a big deal for a roster not stocked with shooters. They slipped after the Rockets loss but don't be surprised if they climb back to the top in short order. They have a soft schedule ahead with four straight vs. teams under .500.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports - 6 (last week: 3)
Already three losses at home this season, after having just one all of last season. Part of that may be due to Tony Parker missing time with a sore knee — he’s not the dynamic player he once was, but he’s still a strong floor general that gets San Antonio into good actions. He’s working his way back into the rotation. Kawhi Leonard continues to be an absolute beast this season.