The San Antonio Spurs bounced back well from a poor 8-10 month of December, posting a 10-4 record in the month of January.
With upcoming games holding more and more value as the playoffs continue to get closer, we take a look at the Spurs month of February, breaking down weekly key games and providing predictions for the games during the month.
San Antonio currently lies in the seventh spot in the Western Conference with a record of 30-18. Looking at the month of February, the Spurs have a chance to potentially jump into the top four and secure home-court advantage for the playoffs.
The defending champion San Antonio Spurs are only three games out of the third seed, but, also only four games ahead of the ninth seed, which shows just how key the month of February is for this team.
Good news for San Antonio fans on the playoff positioning front, the Spurs appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
Not only did San Antonio compile a solid 10-4 record in January, but the team is finally returning back to full health. The only significant injury for the Spurs currently is Marco Belinelli who is listed as day-to-day.
Even more good news, Tim Duncan was named to his 15th All-Star game. That should give the 38-year-old a little pep in his step as San Antonio tries to repeat as NBA Champions. Having Duncan’s confidence high will do nothing but help this team in the final months of the NBA season.
Now, without further adieu, let’s breakdown the month of February for the San Antonio Spurs.
Week 1: February 1st-7th
Oct 18, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guardCory Joseph
(5) moves the ball against the defense of Miami Heat point guardShabazz Napier
(right) during the second half at AT&T Center. The Heat won 111-108 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Game of the Week: February 6th vs. Miami Heat (W)
The match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat will probably not make for great television but what else are you supposed to pick for the game of the week when your choices are between the aforementioned lowly Miami Heat and the struggling Orlando Magic.
The Spurs received a gift from the scheduling gods to start February, not only playing two horrendous teams but also only having to play two games in the first week of February.
San Antonio needs all the “free” wins it can get in the ultra-competitive West and anytime a team out West matches up with an Eastern Conference foe you are looking at just that, a “free” win.
The Heat are currently holding down the eight spot out East with a record of 21-27, which shows you just how weak the Eastern Conference competition is.
Considering Dwyane Wade won’t even play in this one, not picking San Antonio would be an insult.
The Spurs will take this game handily and continue their recent tear they have been on. At least Spurs fans have a Chris Bosh appearance to look forward to?
Rest of the Week: Feb. 4 vs. Orlando Magic (W)
The Spurs first game of the month is against another struggling Eastern Conference team, this time its the Orlando Magic.
The Magic are currently sitting at an abysmal 15-36 and only figure to get worse, riding a nine game losing streak heading into their match-up with San Antonio.
The Spurs clearly have more talent than Orlando on a paper and that will come out in full color when these two teams take the floor in San Antonio.
This just has ugly written all over it, especially because of the way the Spurs have played when healthy.
Week 2: February 8th-14th
Dec 23, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA;San Antonio Spurs forwardKawhi Leonard
(2) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forwardTyler Hansbrough
(50) and guardGreivis Vasquez
(21) defend during the second half at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 112-99. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Game of the Week: February 8th at Toronto Raptors (L)
The San Antonio Spurs will kick off their annual rodeo road trip during the second week of February, a trip that could possibly make or break their playoff position in the Western Conference.
Lucky for the Spurs, San Antonio will be eased into their tough road schedule with a trio of Eastern Conference opponents.
The Spurs first task is to take on the East’s second best team, the Toronto Raptors. After struggling midway through the season, the Raptors seem to be back to their winning ways picking up seven wins in their last nine games.
While that does not necessarily mean San Antonio won’t be able to come away with the win here, there chances look much diminished given how well the 33-16 Raptors have played recently.
The Spurs might look better on the sheet in terms of pure talent, however, Toronto’s athleticism could create a lot of problems for the older San Antonio.
That’s what I am expecting to happen here, hence the loss for the Spurs. The good news for San Antonio fans here though is their next two opponents should be cakewalks.
Rest of the Week: Feb. 9 at Indiana Pacers (W), Feb 11 at Detroit Pistons (W)
After what will probably be a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the road gets easier for the Spurs as they take on the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons in subsequent games.
Indiana is currently in a downward spiral sitting at 17-32, 2-8 in their last 10, but, will probably the toughest opponent out of these two remaining games.
With the Pacers match-up scheduled on the second night of a back-to-back, its likely San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich decides to rest his starters to avoid fatigue.
While resting his starter’s might be the expected move, it is also possible Pop goes ahead and plays his aging stars with the All-Star break upcoming. Who really knows?
Anyways either way, I see this game as a close win for the Spurs. San Antonio will either escape on the hands of their tired stars or escape on the hands of great coaching on role players.
The Spurs will also take on the Detroit Pistons this week, a definite cakewalk. The starters should be rested and Detroit has been anything but impressive since losing Brandon Jennings for the season.
Week 3: February 15th-21st
Nov 11, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) dribbles the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 113-100. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Game of the Week: February 20th at Golden State Warriors (L)
The most anticipated match-up for the San Antonio Spurs in February comes about midway through the team’s rodeo road trip.
Although this road trip kicks off with an easy slate of Eastern Conference opponents, the Spurs will have to face some of the Western Conference’s playoff contenders in the latter half of the road trip.
The Golden State Warriors are currently the league’s best team and will be likely looking to continue to hold down the top spot when these two teams face off in late February.
The Warriors not only own the best record in the West currently, 38-8, but the team also posts top three ratings in offensive and defensive efficiency.
Golden State also has plenty of talent to go around with two former All-Star’s coming off their bench.
Talent will probably be the difference in this one, especially considering this game is on the second night of a back-to-back.
The fact that Pop will most likely rest his starters in this game has me giving the win to the Warriors, most likely in blowout fashion.
Rest of the Week: Feb. 19 at Los Angeles Clippers (W)
Fresh off the All-Star break, San Antonio will be well-rested when they head into their match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers might be one of the better teams in the West with a 33-16 record, but, that should not concern the Spurs.
San Antonio has been hot in recent games, and despite losing against Los Angeles at home in January, the Spurs have the talent to get it done on the road. Just look at the Spurs last road game against the Clippers, one which San Antonio won 89-85.
Also, fun fact, the Spurs played the Clippers and Warriors on back-to-back nights in November and won both of those games.
Week 4: February 22nd-28th
Dec 15, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forwardLaMarcus Aldridge
(12) battles for position with San Antonio Spurs forwardBoris Diaw
(33) during the third quarter of the game at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Game of the Week: February 25th at Portland Trail Blazers (W)
The San Antonio Spurs end the final week of the month with a couple of games against potential Western Conference playoff foes.
The most important of those two match-ups is a game against the currently fifth seeded Portland Trail Blazers.
While the Trail Blazers are currently 33-16, the team has struggled recently, going only 3-7 in their last 10 games.
Should Portland continue to struggle, San Antonio will have a good chance to gain some ground in the standings in their game against the Trail Blazers.
Although Portland is currently 2-1 against San Antonio, one of those losses came in triple overtime and another without Tony Parker or Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs are finally healthy and should they continue to be so, they will have a good chance at taking down the Trail Blazers.
Rest of the Week: Feb. 23 at Utah Jazz (W), Feb. 27th at Sacramento Kings (W), Feb. 28th at Phoenix Suns (L)
The Spurs game against the Suns will be another circled game during this week as Phoenix will likely make the playoffs should they continue their recent tear.
San Antonio has only faced off against Phoenix twice this season, splitting those two games.
With the game being on the second night of a back-to-back, not to mention the final game of the Spurs road trip, it is likely that Pop will recent his aging stars.
If some combination of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili are out against the Suns, the Spurs could be in for some trouble.
Other than that, San Antonio’s week looks to be not too bad. The Spurs start the week with a winnable game against the Utah Jazz and also have a match-up against the lowly Sacramento Kings.
San Antonio has more talent than both of those teams and should be able to pull out victories if the team plays up to its full potential.
Just when it seemed the San Antonio Spurs would be struggling to keep up with the Western Conference’s elite teams, the team made a big run in January, going 10-4 in that month.
Even with the rodeo road trip taking place in the month of February, the Spurs are still shaping up to pick up a decent chunk of victories.
San Antonio faces five potential playoff teams on its nine game road trip. If the Spurs can somehow figure out a way to get at least two or three wins against those potential playoff teams, San Antonio will be in great position heading into the final full month of the NBA season.
With the Western Conference 3-8 seeds so tightly contested, a good month for the Spurs should be able to help their case in the standings, especially with many of their games this month being against good teams from the West.
Finishing 38-21 this month would be a solid mark for a Spurs team that sputtered to an 8-10 record in the month of December.