You lose yourself through the course of a season.
It's natural. Every team goes through it. The grind and the constant travel and the monotony of 82 games pushes players to a point where one game blends into another. The start of the year is figuring things out, enjoying the energy. Around Christmas is a sense of rejuvenation as most teams have found their identity and are working on fine-tuning it as the games feel like they matter more.
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January and February are where teams can thrive as they head into the All-Star break.
But the stretch between the trade deadline and the playoffs? This is the hard part, and this is where teams get lost. Some started even before the break.
Golden State and Utah are trying to remember who they are and what got them into playoff positions, the identities that led to so much success.
Oklahoma City is trying to stay focused as they're in the different position of established favorites. The Nets are trying to find any mold of consistency, and the Bulls and Timberwolves are just trying to get healthy.
But Miami and San Antonio have established themselves with one important element: consistency. Miami's worked past their defensive issues and are now able to flip the switch any time they want. Meanwhile, the Spurs just coasted through their longest road trip of the season while getting their reserves good minutes.
The Heat win because their stars are consistent. The Spurs win because everyone is.
That's the model every other team has to find in this, the hardest part of the season.
Here are this week's Power Rankings.