Last 23 games could make or mangle Spurs

Spurs Rodeo Road Trip during a glance

(Spurs are 1-3)

Feb. 7: Beat Phoenix 129-81

Feb. 10: Lost to Golden State 122-105

Feb. 12: Lost to Utah 101-99

Feb. 13: Lost to Denver 117-109

Friday: vs. Denver, 8 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Cleveland, 2:30 p.m.

There’s no approach around it: The All-Star mangle couldn’t have come quick adequate for a Spurs.

In a reason reduced to a array of fits and starts by injuries, a Silver and Black started their remit on a three-game movement and were 1-5 in February. It’s been such a tough month for a Spurs that they’ll finish their annual Rodeo Road Trip with a losing record for usually a second time in 16 seasons.

When they resume their report Friday night in Denver, where they mislaid their final diversion before a All-Star break, a Silver and Black (35-24) won’t have most some-more time get healthy before a jockeying for playoff seeding heats adult in a final entertain of a season.

Given a doubt of All-NBA brazen Kawhi Leonard’s standing – he has played in usually 9 games this deteriorate and hasn’t been in a lineup given Jan. 13 – a Spurs could be hard-pressed to extend their NBA-record strain of 50-win seasons to 19.

With 18 of a team’s final 23 games opposite opponents .500 or better, removing 15 some-more victories to strech a 50-win symbol will be a daunting charge for a Silver and Black. More importantly, a Spurs could find themselves in a dogfight to make a playoffs if they don’t find their slit down a stretch.

San Antonio has managed to sojourn third in a Western Conference standings notwithstanding Leonard and maestro haven brazen Rudy Gay being sidelined, though fourth-place Minnesota (36-25) is usually commission points behind San Antonio. Five other teams – Oklahoma City, Denver, Portland, New Orleans and a Los Angeles Clippers – have 26 waste each and are distant by 1.5 games.

Ultimately, a Spurs’ deteriorate will come down to either Leonard, who has struggled to come behind from tendinopathy in his right quadriceps, can lapse in time to be a cause down a stretch. He seemed to be creation strides after creation his deteriorate entrance Dec. 12, though a Spurs close him down again given they pronounced he wasn’t surpassing as good as expected.

Coach Gregg Popovich has given no timeline for Leonard’s return, observant usually that “he’s removing closer” to personification again. The doubt begs this question: What’s a smallest series of games Leonard and his teammates would need to filigree and rise some chemistry before a playoffs start?

With each week that passes, conjecture rises that Leonard could be out for a residue of a season. Given his slow injury, that’s not out of a area of possibility.

Gay, sealed final summer to behind adult Leonard, was a team’s third-leading scorer before he went down with a heel damage in a diversion opposite a New York Knicks on Dec. 28. He hasn’t played since, blank 23 games. Popovich pronounced progressing this month that he approaching Gay to lapse to a justice after a All-Star break.

Other players, including maestro indicate ensure Tony Parker, have been stubborn by an collection of injuries. Parker missed a initial 19 games of a deteriorate after carrying medicine to correct a tendon in his left quadriceps that he ruptured in a discussion semifinals final spring. He returned to a lineup opposite Dallas on Nov. 27, starting 21 games before losing his starting pursuit to second-year pro Dejounte Murray a month ago.

Manu Ginobili was sidelined for 6 games final month with a right thigh contusion, and Danny Green missed 10 games from Dec. 9 to Jan. 9 with a groin injury. Backup core Jeff Lauvergne also has felt a pain, blank 10 games with a sprained ankle in a initial month of a season.

Despite a obstacles, a Spurs have pulpy on. After starting a Rodeo Road Trip with a 48-point blowout of Phoenix, San Antonio mislaid to Golden State by 17. Then came gut-wrenching waste to Utah (101-99) and Denver (117-109).

While they played Utah and Denver though heading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, who flew behind to San Antonio to accept diagnosis on his bruise right knee, a Silver and Black could have won both of them. They led a Jazz and Nuggets in a fourth quarter, though fizzled down a widen in both games.

Aldridge, averaging a team-high 22.4 points to go with 8.4 rebounds per game, has been a Spurs’ stone this season. Praised by Popovich for his superb play on both ends of a court, Aldridge was named an All-Star for a sixth time in his 12-year career.

The Spurs empty a ATT Center each Feb to make approach for a San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo. Thus, a Rodeo Road Trip. The Silver and Black won’t play during home until they face a New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 28.

The Spurs had a accumulative 88-37 Rodeo Road Trip record before they started 1-3 this year. The Silver and Black lapse to work with a use Wednesday afternoon, and finish a rodeo outing with games in Denver on Friday and Cleveland on Sunday.

The Spurs have played with a full register usually once this season. That was on a night they kick a Brooklyn Nets 109-97 on a day after Christmas. Leonard scored a career-high 21 points and Aldridge finished with 20.

But dual nights later, Gay went down with bursitis in his right heel. It’s been that kind of deteriorate for a Spurs.

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