The San Antonio Spurs have a 5 game winning streak. Their last was December 29-January 7. But this win streak not been as impressive as the previous one. The end of year streak had some decisive and emotional wins against mostly top tier competitors (Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Detroit Pistons). This streak, not so much.
Week 16 - Winning but losing: The guys in silver and black have had some very exciting wins and some down-to-the-wire losses, but the wins this week have left some of us with a bad taste in our mouths and the players with ringing in their ears (from Gregg Popovich’s tongue lashing). The Spurs have played down to their opponents (Phoenix Suns) which caused Pop to accuse them of disrespecting their opponents and not deserving to win. They have allowed the Brooklyn Nets to almost outplay them. And on Saturday, they gave away a 22 point lead to almost lose the game in the end against the embattled New Orleans Pelicans. This coming week starts off the Rodeo Road Trip, which hopefully creates some focus and intensity for the Spurs.
Last week: 3-0 (32-22) 126-124 vs. Suns; 117-114 vs. Nets; 113-108 vs. Pelicans
Tim MacMahon, ESPN - 9 (last week: 11)
“I wasn’t the hero tonight,” LaMarcus Aldridge said after a 25-point, 14-rebound night in Saturday’s win over the Pelicans. He had to give credit to the Coyote, the Spurs’ mascot who -- dressed in a Batman costume -- made a diving stop to net yet another bat flying over the AT&T Center court during the game. It was the highlight of a five-game win streak in which Aldridge has averaged 26.4 points and 12.4 rebounds.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 6 (last week: 7)
DeMar DeRozan continues to struggle through knee soreness. He’s missed four games in the last 2 1/2 weeks and has an effective field goal percentage of just 40.3 percent (the fifth-worst mark among 187 players with at least 100 field goal attempts) since Jan. 1. But All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has picked up the slack, averaging 26.4 points on 57 percent shooting (and 94 percent at the free throw line) over the Spurs’ five-game winning streak. Aldridge remains Mr. Mid-Range (only DeRozan has taken more mid-range shots this season), but has also taken 33 percent of his shots in the restricted area. That’s is highest rate of the last eight seasons and he has shot a career-high 72 percent (the sixth-best mark among 62 players with at least 200 attempts) on those restricted area shots. He had four clutch buckets as the Spurs won three close games last week, and all four were layups or dunks. The rodeo trip (five games before the All-Star break, three games after) begins Monday in Sacramento, with the Spurs having scored 119 points per 100 possessions over their last four road games.
NBA.com also has this:
Week 17 Team to Watch
San Antonio -- Other teams are more important in regard to the trade deadline and the NBA landscape. But on the floor, the Spurs take a five-game winning streak on the road, and the rodeo trip begins with four games against teams with winning records. They visit the Kings on Monday, the Warriors on Wednesday, the Blazers on Thursday, and the Jazz on Saturday.
Khadrice Rollins, SI.com - 10 (last week: 12)
Like I said last week, you’re going to have to go somewhere else if you want Gregg Popovich slander. I’m just here to note that while the Suns might have been robbed, the Spurs did win. And then they won two more. However, the Nets are banged up and the Pelicans have bigger things to worry about than the results of basketball games right now. So this might be a “it’s better to be lucky than good” type of situation right now.
Reid Forgrave, CBS Sports - 11 (last week: 11)
I’m still stunned at these anachronistic Spurs and how they completely flipped the script on what looked like a lost season after the first month or two. They’re now winners of five in a row, and look like a team that’s got a legit shot to make the Western Conference finals. As far as trades: Um, they’re the Spurs. They don’t do midseason trades. Ever.
How are we feeling about the win streak? What do we expect the Spurs to do over the start of the Rodeo Road Trip? Let us know in the comments.