The road is about to get a tad more bumpy.Things will be tougher come next year. We already knew the annual rodeo trip would be a trying stretch in the season. But a closer look will tell you that this stretch isn’t the only tough part of the season remaining.
Before the Spurs start the Rodeo trip on January 22nd, they actually have a miniature road trip spanning January 4th through January 12th, it consists of six games with a single home stand snuck in. There are two sets of backtobacks in this mini trip (the tail end of the first one is in Boston “gulp”).
Additionally,the actual rodeo trip has a section preceding it which I will dub the TRALR (trail Leading up to the Rodeo Trip) It consists of a three game away series with a home stand tossed in right before the real fun of the rodeo trip begins. Thankfully, there aren’t any segababas in the TRALR.
The rodeo trip isn’t actually too bad, it consists of 9 games with only two sets of backtobacks, with neither of the second games coming against a contender. There is also a full three days of rest between games at Sacramento and Detroit with a full on mini vacation of 5 days between games at Chicago and Oklahoma, respectively.*
If the Spurs get through this stretch in one piece, things will ease up somewhat, with 14 of the clubs remaining 26 games played at home. I say “somewhat” because there are only 2 more home games than road games left, and there are still 7 back to backs. The only extended break after the rodeo trip comes between March 14th and 18. A glance at the schedule also seems to indicate that the Spurs have a greater concentration of games against contenders in this latter portion of the season.
When taking into account the spacing of games, and the two extended rest periods, the rodeo trip might actually be a tad easier than the schedule proceeding it.
* I was mistaken, this extended rest period is not actually inside the Rodeo trip. Still, it will be a nice 5 day vacation beginning immediately after the Rodeo trips final game.