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Power Rankings, Week 19: Spurs are closing in

A strange week for Golden State and an 8 game winning streak for San Antonio has brought the Spurs within 2 1/2 games of the Warriors in this historic season.

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

All available superlatives have been used to describe the Golden State Warriors this season, so I won't add any more here. Good as they've been, it made it that much more inexplicable when they were shut down and beaten up by the hapless Lakers on Sunday night. The Warriors truly live by the three, and 55 times out of 61, it's worked for them. But boy, when those threes aren't falling, it's ugly. It actually made Los Angeles look like a balanced, disciplined, heady team. Which is a very difficult thing to accomplish. This forgettable loss came on the heels of Curry and Co. barely escaping with an overtime win over the Hawks followed by a big win over the Thunder. A strange week, indeed.

Meanwhile, the Spurs have won 8 in a row and had a perfect week with short-handed wins over the Pistons, Pelicans, and Kings. Pop and the coaching staff have been seeing ridiculously impressive developmental results from guys like Kyle Anderson, Jonathon Simmons, Boban Marjanovic, while successfully integrating the new veteran faces into a rotation that runs on teammate familiarity, system savvy, and selflessness. It's tough to choose, but this might be PATFO's most impressive work to date.

They have narrowed the gap to 2 1/2 games back of the league-leading Warriors. They have weathered injury storms and bouts of poor play and have kept winning. That is the mark of a champion. Regardless of how the final regular season standings play out, the Spurs are on the path to likely collide with Golden State in one of the most anticipated playoff series in sports history.

Another distinction of the past week was the addition of Grandpa Andre Miller to the roster. Some questioned the move, but clearly the Spurs wanted to get more reliability from Ray McCallum's roster spot and didn't want to go forward with Parker and Mills as the only point guards on the team, despite Ginobili and Anderson also being able to run the offense. The rumor of the Kevin Martin addition also became reality, meaning either the legendary Matt Bonner or the reliable Rasual Butler will be cut. Martin has yet to be listed as active, though, so the roster stands pat as of today. Also, Tom Orsborn of the Express-News reported today that Pop will miss tonight's game at Indiana and tomorrow's game at Minnesota because of a "family medical situation." Ettore Messina will take the reigns in his absence.

Marc Stein, ESPN (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)

With 10 more wins, Tim Duncan becomes just the third member of the 1,000 Club for regular-season Ws, alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,074) and Robert Parish (1.014). The Spurs, though, are clearly trying to tax Duncan as little as possible as his 40th birthday approaches; TD's played only 52 percent of the Spurs' available minutes this season and has yet to register a single 20-point game.

USA Today (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)

At 30-0 this season, they own the fourth-longest home winning streak in NBA history at 39.

John Schuhmann, (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)

The Spurs have Manu Ginobili back, have won eight straight games, and are just three in the loss column behind the champs. Kawhi Leonard has turned up the offense, averaging 27.6 points with an effective field goal percentage of 61.5 percent over the last five games. Make your movie plans on Fridays over the next month, because the Spurs will play the Thunder, Warriors or Raptors each of the next four Saturdays.

David Aldridge, (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)

Rolling right along, and got Manu Ginobili back on Saturday to go to 30-0 at home -- without three starters.

Matt Moore,  (CBS Sports) Spurs rank: 1, Last week's rank: 3)

No team has ever won 69 games or more and not won the title. The Spurs are on pace for 70 wins and a likely conference finals exit. This is going to be remembered as the year that a historically great team was ultimately forgotten.

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)

The Spurs continue to lead the league in point differential(+12.7) and net rating (+13.6). Yes, that includes the Warriors. And hey, they can technically still win out and top 72 victories. …

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