After five straight wins, the defending champions shoot into the top five of this week's Power Rankings.
Duncan’s 0-for-8 effort was the first game of his storied career without a field goal, but don’t take this blip as an “end of times” sign in San Antonio. The Spurs actually cruised to victory against Chicago in that game and have won five straight. After a bumpy ride on the team’s annual Rodeo Road Trip (going 4-5), San Antonio has smoothed things to lead the NBA in net rating (18.4) during its five-game streak and post an impressive 110.8 offensive rating.
It’s easy to forget about the Spurs with so many contenders, particularly shiny new ones like the Warriors and Hawks, lurking with just five weeks left in the season. But there aren’t many reasons not to pick the defending champions to repeat. At 38, Tim Duncan is still averaging close to a double double (14.2 points, 9.5 rebounds). Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have been carefully paced all season. The team’s cast of critical role players is healthy and producing. And the team holds a pristine 22-8 record (.733) when Kawhi Leonard, the reigning 23-year-old Finals MVP, plays at least 30 minutes this season.
After five wins in a row, San Antonio shoots back in the top five of this week’s rankings. While Duncan’s goose egg might have ended a notable run, we should remember that history tends to favor the Spurs, particularly in the spring.
Here’s where all 30 teams stand in this week’s NBA Power Rankings:
(All stats and records through March 8)