For the second straight year, the San Antonio Spurs have been abysmal on the road. They need to turn that around if they’re going to make the playoffs this season.
For years, the San Antonio Spurs have been the model of consistency in the NBA, and that includes being one of the league’s best road teams during the Gregg Popovich era.
Going back to the 2002-03 season, the Spurs had a winning road record for 15 straight years before last season where they went 14-27 away from home.
Those road struggles have continued this season as they’ve gone 4-10 away from the AT&T Center, including three straight road losses.
The Spurs’ offense has actually been better away from home this year scoring 110.4 points per game on the road compared to 108.1 at home.
The defense has been a different story as San Antonio is giving up 118.1 points per game away from home this year, which would be the second-worst mark in the league behind the Hawks who have given up 119 points per game this season.
Opponents have been shooting 39.4% from three at when the Spurs hit the road this year, and that number will hopefully regress to the mean. However, San Antonio is going to need to improve their perimeter defense for that number to come down.
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The Spurs have dropped like a stone in the Western Conference playoff picture, and they’re only ahead of the lowly Phoenix Suns heading into Friday night’s game against the Lakers.
San Antonio was able to make the playoffs last season despite their problems on the road thanks to an incredible 33-8 home record.
The Spurs haven’t been as dominant at the AT&T Center this season with a 7-4 home record, which is already half as many home losses as they had last year.
Injuries have obviously hurt this team, and the return of Lonnie Walker and some improvement from the Spurs’ young players will help that road record look a bit better as the season progresses.
But the Western Conference is deeper than ever this year, and San Antonio can’t afford to keep getting blown out in road games if they’re going to keep pace in the playoff race.
Fortunately the Spurs will begin a six-game homestand on Friday night, although those matchups won’t be cake walks with the Lakers, Jazz, Clippers, and Sixers coming to town.
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San Antonio should be able to build some momentum with 11 of their next 15 games at home before a tough road schedule in January. These December home games will hopefully help the Spurs’ role players develop some confidence and allow the new pieces on this team to gel and prepare for some major road tests that could determine their playoff fortune.