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Takeaways from the Spurs’ 2022-23 schedule

The 2022-23 NBA schedule has been announced.

With the Spurs entering their first full-fledged rebuild season in modern history, it may be hard from some fans to get excited, but even so the start of the 2022-23 season is approximately two months away, and the schedule for their 50th Anniversary season has been released.

If the Spurs live up to expectations as one of the worst teams in the West, there won’t be much to break down another than expect more losses than not. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some key dates to take a look at.

“Out of Market” home games announced

It may be easy to forget since a lot has changed about the Spurs, but as a reminder, it was announced on May 7 that the Bexar County Commissioners had voted to allow the Spurs to play four homes games away from the AT&T Center for only the 2022-23 season (not two seasons like they had asked for) in an attempt to spread their brand beyond San Antonio.

The agreement allowed for one game in Mexico City, one in the Alamodome, and two in Austin at the University of Texas’ Moody Center (which the Spurs had hoped to insert into the Rodeo Road Trip, but they got moved to April due to scheduling conflicts with the NCAA basketball season). Here is when those game will take place:

  • The game in Mexico City will be on December 17 at 4:00 PM against the Miami Heat on NBATV. This will be the first NBA game in Mexico City since before the COVID-19 pandemic and 31st overall.
  • The Alamodome game will be against the defending champion Golden State Warriors at 6:30 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN. (The Spurs made it to national TV this season!) The stadium will be set to hold 65,000, and the NBA record for attendance at a regular season game is currently 62,046 (hat tip: Jordan Howenstine). This will be an opportunity to break that record, so will Spurs fans — as well as Warriors fans, who tend to travel well — pack the Dome? We’ll find out!
  • Finally, the two games in Austin will be against the Portland Trail Blazers (7:00 PM) and Minnesota Timberwolves (3:00 PM), respectively. Of note, those are the Spurs’ final two “home” games of the season before they close in Dallas. Will the Spurs be in full-fledged tank mode by then if the season goes how pundits expect? If so, this probably won’t draw the Austin crowd they were hoping for. The Spurs probably know this, which is why they had likely hoped to play there sooner, but it’s understandable how this would be a problem for UT during basketball season.

Other Takeaways

  • Even though it’s impossible to know what these Spurs will look like, they open the season on Oct. 19 with a winnable game at home against the Charlotte Hornets, followed by a road game in Indiana two nights later. What will happen if the Spurs start 2-0? The pro-tankers will likely flip while the pro-winners will be given false hope. The Spurs also get three of their four games against Minnesota out of the way in their first seven games of the season.
  • Mini-series (i.e. playing the same team in consecutive games) seem to be here to stay, and the Spurs have six — yes, SIX — of them this season. The first will be in Minnesota on Oct. 24/26, then an away-and-home against the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 5/7, a back-to-back at home against the Lakers on Nov. 25/26 (which will be Lonnie Walker’s reunion game) both road games in Memphis on Jan. 9/11, finishing off the Rodeo Road Trip in Utah on Feb. 25/28, and finally a home-and-away against the Houston Rockets on March 4/5.
  • Speaking of the RRT, it may not be too bad, all things considered. It starts with an East Coast swing in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland and Charlotte. Then, after the All Star break, they’ll head to Dallas and Utah. Considering the Jazz may have traded Donovan Mitchell and be in rebuild mode themselves by then (reminder: Rudy Gobert was traded to the Timberwolves), 4-5 may not be an unreasonable outcome.
  • More reunion games will include January 7, with Derrick White’s first return to San Antonio after being traded to Boston last season. It was a shocking move at the time, and the former fan favorite will likely receive a classic Spurs tribute video and much love form the Spurs crowd. The other big reunion will be with Dejounte Murray on the tail end of a six-game homestand when the Atlanta Hawks visit on March 19. It’s a little harder to read the room on this one considering Murray has had some mixed messages about the Spurs since leaving (such as saying they’ll be rebuilding for 10 years), and his shenanigans in the Drew League — like bopping players on the head with the ball, plus igniting a beef with Paolo Banchero by tripping, criticizing and blocking him on social media — has rubbed some fans the wrong way. Ultimately a lot of that will probably be forgotten by then, and he will likely still receive the same embrace from Spurs fans as White and Walker.