Week 7 saw the Spurs on their extended road trip for two games before coming home for two games. The contest against the Chicago Bulls was ugly, but the Silver and Black managed to eek out a win. The same could not be said in the one-sided games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets. But as Marilyn Dubinski said, “The Good Spurs do still exist!” At the end of this bad stretch, the Spurs faced the Trail Blazers and put on a strong offensive performance and an improving defensive game.
Week 7 - Trying to right the ship: The week started with an ugly win, only to continue with two very ugly losses, but it finished on the right note.
Last week: 2-2 (11-12) - 108-107 vs. Bulls; 128-89 vs. Timberwolves (loss); 136-105 vs. Rockets (loss); 131-118 vs. Trail Blazers.
This week: Tuesday, 12/4 @ Jazz (11-13); 12/5 @ Lakers (14-9); 12/7 vs. Lakers (14-9); 12/9 vs. Jazz (11-13)
Tim MacMahon, ESPN - 20 (last week: 19)
The Spurs were at the franchise’s lowest point of the Gregg Popovich coaching era before Sunday’s win over Portland. San Antonio had 30-plus-point losses in consecutive games under Pop for the first time and had dropped to 14th in the West standings. The Spurs have drastic defensive problems, but DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 65 points against the Trail Blazers on Sunday night to stop the bleeding.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 22 (last week: 22)
While coach Gregg Popovich was expressing his distaste for 3-pointers, his team was getting outscored by 66 points from beyond the arc by the Wolves and Rockets, two of the four worst defensive games of the season for the team that now ranks 29th defensively. They ranked 14th on that end of the floor just two weeks ago, but have allowed more than 121 points per 100 possessions over their last eight games. They stopped the bleeding with a ridiculous offensive performance (60 percent shooting, 11-for-15 from 3-point range) against Portland on Sunday, and play just one of their next 10 games against a top-10 offense. The second game of their Wednesday-Friday home-and-home with the Lakers is the start of their longest homestand (six games) of the season. This could be their window to stay in the playoff race.
Khadrice Rollins, SI.com - 17 (last week: 14)
San Antonio has hit a bit of a rough patch recently. Finishing off last week with a win over the Trail Blazers was a step in the right direction. It’s hard to imagine Gregg Popovich missing the playoffs, but without weeks like this become the standard for the season, San Antonio could find itself on the outside come April.
Reid Forgrave, CBS Sports - 18 (last week: 16)
Rudy Gay is shooting 51 percent from three, second in the NBA. Tell me again why he’s taking fewer than three threes a game, and why Bryn Forbes (44.7 percent from three) is taking five threes a game? Gregg Popovich’s three-point bias is holding the Spurs back.
Do you agree with the analysts, Pounders? Let us know what you think in the comments.