Obviously it’s way too early to tell, and there are some clear obstacles in the way, but history bodes well for the Spurs if they can keep up their torrid play away from the confines of the AT&T Center. While it would definitely be beneficial to do better at home too, any team hoping to win a championship needs to know how to get things done on the road, and this year’s Spurs are showing they can do just that. The result is a continued (if slow) rise in this week’s power rankings.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 3 (last week: 4)
The Road Spurs are now 10-0, overcoming Kemba Walker's late-game heroics in Charlotte and a 14-point deficit in Boston before wrapping up the three-game trip in Washington on Saturday. They've scored a remarkable 115.4 points per 100 possessions on the road, shooting almost 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from 3-point range. Davis Bertans is the latest guy the Spurs have turned into a productive piece off the bench. He totaled 26 points in less than 34 minutes, hitting six of his eight threes, in the Charlotte and Boston wins.
David Aldridge, NBA.com - 3 (last week: 4)
The Spurs are still unbeaten (10-0) on the road after rolling through the East this week on a three-game trip, including their ninth straight win overall, in Washington, on Saturday.
Marc Stein, ESPN - 3 (last week: 4)
For weeks now I've been reluctant to put the Spurs in the Cavs-Warriors-Clippers orbit. Not an easy thing to admit when they just became the fifth team in history to open 10-0 on the road. Of the previous four to pull that off, only last season's Warriors failed to win a championship. So it's probably time, in other words, for the Committee to have a long talk with itself. (The Spurs also happen to be the first team to go 10-0 on the road and win all 10 by at least five points.)
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated - 4 (last week: 4)
Did you know Kawhi Leonard has more steals than fouls over the course of his career? Yep.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports - 3 (last week: 4)
Nine in a row and it seems like a typical Spurs season, but there are some legitimate concerns. Gregg Popovich ripped them after a win over the Mavericks and they rank just 14th in opponent effective field-goal percentage. It's hard to tell sometimes whether you're just looking for things to complain about with the Spurs, but this team isn't the same as in some of their stronger seasons, at least not yet.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports - 3 (last week: 4)
Winners of nine in a row, which has more do to their offense than defense so far this season. The Spurs make more catch-and-shoot two-point jumpers (13.1) and shoot a higher percentage on those (45.6 percent), than any team in the league, plus they hit a league best 43.4 percent on catch-and-shoot threes, for an eFG% of 58.4% on catch-and-shoots (second only to the Warriors). Winnable games this week with Orlando, Dallas, and Washington on the schedule, but San Antonio has played down to its competition at times this season.