The San Antonio Spurs begin an annual tradition: the Rodeo Road Trip. This year, it consists of nine games all across the country, yet unlike the more grueling road trips earlier this season there is only one back to back. However, unlike the previous RRTs of the Spurs, they must start it without their captain and franchise cornerstone Tim Duncan, who is sitting out as he recovers from a sprained knee and ankle.

Nevertheless, the Spurs are getting into a groove. The Spurs have won 10 straight and 19 of their last 22; they've won as many games in the past 22 as they did in the first 27. And this is with sitting out 5 of those games in the current streak, and sitting out 4 - before his latest injury. This can be credited primarily to three players who have been playing very well as of late: Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, and Kawhi Leonard.

First, about Tony Parker. Did you know that he's one of four players in the league this season to score 20 or more points a game while making more than half of his field goal attempts? If we extend the restriction to players who also shoot better than 80% from the free throw line, the only other player on the list is Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. Amazing that a poing guard 30 years old is having his best season; the only other guy I can think of who's done that is Steve Nash, and TP's much better defensively than the Canadian. He'll be tested against a very good on-ball defender in Ricky Rubio, but this is a matchup in the Wee Frenchman's favor, as the Spanish Unicorn has struggled to create his own offense (understandably because he's recovering from a torn ACL of his own).