After a December we’d rather soon forget we looked forward to the new year and bluer skies for the San Antonio Spurs. December saw a record seven back-to-back games and a high of 18 total games, a record in the Tim Duncan era. The result, a plummet in the Western Conference standings and an injury riddled squad. January didn’t come soon enough.
We have now exited January. Albeit in horrendous fashion. The loss to the Clippers was an all-time bad. The Big-Three combine for a paltry 18 points as San Antonio was decimated at home. Disappointing is the adjective best fitting the loss. Maybe embarrassing.
But, in review, how bad was January? Not bad at all.
- San Antonio stopped the bleeding. They are 30-18 on the season, locking them into 7th place in the Conference. They finished December 8-10. They are trending positive, winning 10 of 14 in January.
- They are healthy. The upcoming game with Orlando could find the Spurs with a full roster for the first time in a really long time. Marco Belinelli is still questionable for the game. More importantly the Spurs got Kawhi Leonard back from injury. They are Z to A with him back in the lineup. Furthermore, Tony Parker is back. The return of Parker gives Gregg Popovich incredible depth at point guard. A second unit with both Patty Mills and Corey Joseph on the court simultaneously has provided some spark.
- The third great thing about January doesn’t have anything directly related to the Spurs. The rest of the West are showing cracks. Houston has looked unstoppable at times, but now Dwight Howard will be out for extended time. The Mavericks have shown an ability to drop games on a more consistent basis. The Rajon Rondo trade has had mixed results. The Clippers are proving to have zero backcourt depth. And Portland is predicting to have an up and down season the rest of the way due to injury.
While the Spurs have had some epic losses during the last month, history tells us that the course will be corrected. What does history tell us of these other teams?
So we should wipe away those tears of shame following the LA loss. San Antonio is sitting better than they appear on the surface.