39 games into the season, the Spurs currently rank fourth in the West at 24-15. While their record is respectable, it's important to note that most of their wins came against weaker competitions and they have some troubles protecting a lead.
Recently, the Spurs showed some signs of improvement beating the Lakers and the Thunder without Duncan in the lineup.
They are starting to clamp down on defense as they are currently 7th in league in defensive efficiency and 4th in effective field goal percentage, they are also taking care of the ball a lot more averaging just 12.6 turnovers per game in January compared to 15.8 in December.
However, just when things seem to look good for the Spurs; they lost to the Bobcats and the Grizzlies on back to back nights and continue to struggle with their free throws, turnovers and more importantly, do not play with a sense of urgency. Field goal percentage is also worrisome as they shot 39% versus the Bobcats and 41% versus the Grizzlies.
The Spurs have health issues. Tony Parker is playing through pain (plantar fasciitis), shooters Matt Bonner and Mike Finley are still out with injuries, and Antonio McDyess missed their last game because of a pinched nerve in the neck.
Also, some of their stars and role players have been inconsistent. Ginobili and Jefferson has been on and off, while Bogans to a lesser extent is on a shooting slump.
But it's all not bad news. Tim Duncan continues to be Tim Duncan, Blair is taking advantage of extended minutes, and George Hill and Roger Mason Jr. has been a steady presence off the bench.Not to mention the Spurs have one of, if not the best bench in the NBA as far as offensive production.
In other words, the Spurs are not yet at full strength. They need to get back on the right track. Obviously, there is still work to be done the upcoming games will test their true character. Still, there is reason to believe that they will get better as the season goes on.
What do you guys think? What are the things do Spurs need to improve on? Are they struggling too much and what about them continuing to lose games they suppose to win? Is a trade needed for them to get better? Share your thoughts.