On the cusp of a two game winning streak, the San Antonio Spurs are trying to rev up their engines and kick their game into another gear. The defending Western Conference champions have not been playing like their title would imply, and this was most evident in the month of January.
San Antonio began the New Year with a 105-101 loss to the disappointing New York Knicks at home. This was not a good omen for the Spurs as more losses and hardships were to follow. After a five-game winning streak, a skid would would occur in which the Spurs finished out the month only winning two of their last seven games.
With a record of 8-6 in the month of January, the first place spot had been relinquished and the tension was visible within the team. Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard would all succumb to injuries in some form or fashion. In all six of the losses received within the month, the Spurs allowed an average of 105.1 points per game. On five different occasions, five players scored 25 points or more on the Gregg Popovich‘s defense, and Kevin Durant erupted for 37 points on Jan. 22.
Prior to January, the Spurs were sitting in the driver’s seat with a record of 25-7 and a quiet command of the west. Now in February, they sit three games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot. It could have been much worse for the boys from the Alamo City, but they escaped January in decent shape. With a few missing pieces returning to the lineup, this month will hopefully be building block for another championship run.