The Spurs are in the midst of a much needed three days off. Not only did they start the season having to travel between each of their first seven games (in twelve nights), but they’ve also changed time zones five times, including moving east on both SEGABABA’s. All that travel appears to have taken its toll as the Spurs looked a step slow in home losses against the Jazz and Clippers: two physical and hungry teams looking to make a statement.
The result was a bit of a fall in the rankings, but nothing that a few wins against the Rockets and Pistons can’t fix, especially as Tony Parker and Danny Green appear closer to returning to the starting line-up.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 3 (last week: 1)
The Spurs lost more home games last week (two) than they did all of last season (one). But it's a make-or-miss league and both losses came with the opponent shooting really well from the perimeter. The Jazz and Clippers shot 54 percent and 47 percent from outside the paint, respectively, with the Utah mark being much better than any team shot from outside the paint against the Spurs last season. There are some offensive concerns too, especially when they have to go to third stringers due to injuries and/or rest.
David Aldridge, NBA.com - 4 (last week: 1)
Perhaps Danny Green is a smidge more important to the Spurs than his frequent critics would ever acknowledge.
Marc Stein, ESPN - 4 (last week: 2)
We are conditioned to be surprised by almost every team on the NBA map ... especially in the topsy-turvy month of November. The Spurs, though, are the exception. How are we supposed to process two home losses in the space of a week? Surrendering 73 points to the visiting Clippers on Saturday night to account for the worst first-half D in the Gregg Popovich era? The retirement of legendary San Antonio Express-News columnist Buck Harvey? We weren't ready for any of that.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated - 4 (last week: 3)
The Spurs just keep on doing what they do, and Kawhi Leonard is a national treasure. How many players make it this much fun to watch defense?
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports - 3 (last week: 2)
An impressive 4-0 start on the road this season is probably the best indication of how good they really are (they have already lost more home games this season than they did all of last season, two). The Spurs will be without Tony Parker for a week due to a knee injury — but that’s not all bad, the starters are more than 50 points per 100 possessions better this young season with Patty Mills playing instead of Parker.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports - 3 (last week: 2)
Kawhi Leonard continues to amaze with his combination of versatility and efficiency. He's eighth in usage and 70th percentile or better in five of his six play sets (pick and roll, etc.) via Synergy Sports.