Every time around this year — more specifically in 2013 from February 7-23 — the San Antonio Rodeo makes its way to the home of the San Antonio Spurs, the SBC Center, and the team hits the road for it’s annual “Rodeo Road Trip”.
In years past, this trip has been just the bonding experience the Spurs needed to surge into the All-Star break, while, in others, it has been the beginning of a rough stretch that couldn’t be recovered from. No matter how you cut it, having to play 10 consecutive road games in an 18-day stretch is a lot to ask of any team.
While the trip is punctuated by the annual All-Star Break, it’s still a tremendous grind and one that will truly tell the tale of how the momentum the Spurs have generated from an NBA-best start in the first half of the season carries over to the second half.
San Antonio faces the Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns in succession over that 18-day stretch — teams with a combined record to this point of 194-209.
It’ll hardly be a walk in the park — no 10 game stretch in 18 days against NBA talent ever is — but if nothing else, everything flips for the better when the Spurs return to the Alamo City for a home game against the Phoenix Suns on February 27th to being what amounts to a month’s worth of home games in March.
If the Spurs can break-even, or even emerge from the Rodeo Road Trip with six games in that 18-days, they’ll be sitting pretty not only in the Southwestern Division, but in the Western Conference as they enter the meat of the regular season schedule in March and April that will determine just how the playoff seeding shakes out in a conference that isn’t quite as strong as it has been in years past.