Finally, the long and grueling Rodeo Road Trip has wrapped up, but looking at the Spurs record on absence from the AT&T Center, you would think the home court advantage traveled with them, but no, what did travel with the Spurs, was the determination. The Spurs who struggled earlier in the year, only winning two games on the road, have turned their road woes all around. Winning all but one game on the Road Trip, dropping the only game where the key players did not play, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker took the night off in Portland for rest, a decision made by stellar head coach Greg Popovich.
Carrying a three game winning streak into the Rodeo Road Trip, the Spurs fought tooth and nail to extend their winning streak to 11, winning eight consecutive road games, matching their NBA League recording of eight consecutive road wins in a single trip. A Road Trip to remember, if anything, it brings back memories of 2003, a year where the Spurs won their second title, the Spurs lead the Southwest division and sit in second place overall in the Western Conference.
While taking a number one seed overall is nice to have, and probably helpful later in the postseason, but what matters to Coach Pop and company is actually making the playoffs, and going all the way. With finishing the Rodeo Road Trip with eight wins and only the lone loss, the Spurs have put away what many analysts consider to be the hardest part of the Spurs’ season. Halfway through the irregularly shortened regular season, the Spurs look to keep winning and progressing along, gearing up for the postseason. After last season’s debacle of a regular season finish, the Spurs know what to do when it comes time to prepare, while a mismatch with the Grizzlies could be primarily blamed for the premature exit of the playoffs, botched preparation that played a big factor as well.
No matter what seed the Spurs go in as, they are always a legitimate threat to go all the way to the Finals, while the team may not get as much hype as Miami, Los Angeles, or Orlando, San Antonio uses their lack of national coverage to their advantage as the element of surprise allows the Spurs to throw their opponent off rhythm and allows to Spurs to capitalize by exposing the flaws of the other team, as the other team as yet to figure out the Spurs’ flaws.
Projecting and predicting the postseason is fun, but as far as the Spurs are concerned, getting there and getting there in one piece in their main concern for now.