San Antonio Spurs Schedule Release: 3 Takeaways

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 3: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Danny Green #14 of the Toronto Raptors exchange hugs after the game on January 3, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 3: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Danny Green #14 of the Toronto Raptors exchange hugs after the game on January 3, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 3: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 3: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

With the NBA releasing the full regular season schedule today, let’s take a look at some interesting aspects of the San Antonio Spurs’ 2019-20 schedule.

The San Antonio Spurs are looking forward to a bright 2019-20 season after they finished with the seventh-best record in the Western Conference last year.

The Spurs will get Dejounte Murray back after missing all of last season with a torn ACL, they made a couple of solid moves in free agency picking up DeMarre Carroll and Trey Lyles, and the front office selected three promising rookies in this year’s draft.

San Antonio fans are also hoping for a breakout year from Lonnie Walker after he looked absolutely dominant in Summer League ahead of his second NBA season.

The Spurs will be looking to make the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season and make some more noise in the postseason after falling to the Nuggets in a seven-game first round series last spring.

There are plenty of storylines to break down regarding San Antonio’s regular season schedule including some revenge games against former players, Gregg Popovich squaring off against his former assistants, and a daunting Rodeo Road Trip come February.

Next: Rodeo Road Trip

DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs stands next to LeBron James (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs stands next to LeBron James (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rodeo Road Trip

The famous Rodeo Road Trip has offered the San Antonio Spurs an opportunity to come together as a team during their annual three-week long trek through the NBA while the rodeo is occupying the AT&T Center.

However, that was not the case last year as the Spurs went 1-7 on the trip during an extremely difficult month of February.

San Antonio will be hoping to improve that Rodeo Road Trip record this season, but it will not be easy as the Spurs are set to visit eight tough Western Conference teams during the trip.

Monday, February 3: at Los Angeles Clippers

Tuesday, February 4: at Los Angeles Lakers

Thursday, February 6: at Portland Trail Blazers

Saturday, February 8: at Sacramento Kings

Monday, February 10: at Denver Nuggets

Tuesday, February 11: at Oklahoma City Thunder

Friday, February 21: at Utah Jazz

Sunday, February 23: at Oklahoma City Thunder

Spurs: Ranking the 5 Best Championship Teams. Related Story

San Antonio begins the Rodeo Road Trip with a back-to-back against potentially the two best teams in the league in the Staples Center.

The Lakers and Kings are the only teams from this group that didn’t make the playoffs last year, and L.A. has obviously improved with the addition of Anthony Davis while Sacramento was on the cusp of the eight seed last season.

The Spurs get the All-Star Break to catch their breath before heading out for the final two games of the road trip in Utah and Oklahoma City before returning to San Antonio for a three-game homestand.

This year’s Rodeo Road Trip will present a major test to this team. Let’s hope they handle it better than they did last year.

Next: Gregg Popovich's Former Colleagues/Players

OAKLAND, CA – FEBRUARY 6: Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr shakes hands with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich following the Warriors 141-102 win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – FEBRUARY 6: Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr shakes hands with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich following the Warriors 141-102 win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Gregg Popovich’s Former Colleagues/Players

When you’ve been an NBA coach for 30+ years you make a few connections along the way, and Gregg Popovich has many of them among the current rank of NBA head coaches.

Here are the Spurs’ upcoming games against head coaches that Pop either coached during their time as a player or coached with during his time in San Antonio.

Brett Brown – Philadelphia 76ers:

Friday, November 22: at Philadelphia

Friday, April 10: vs. Philadelphia

Brett Brown spent 11 years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio over two separate stints. The Sixers also added former Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka as Brown’s top assistant this offseason.

Mike Budenholzer – Milwaukee Bucks:

Saturday, January 4: at Milwaukee

Monday, January 6: vs. Milwaukee

Mike Budenholzer sat next to Gregg Popovich on the Spurs’ bench as an assistant from Pop’s first season as head coach in 1996 all the way until 2013 when he finally got his first head coaching opportunity with the Atlanta Hawks.

James Borrego – Charlotte Hornets:

Saturday, February 1: vs. Charlotte

Tuesday, March 3: at Charlotte

James Borrego assisted Gregg Popovich in San Antonio during two different stints with the most recent one ending in 2018 when he got his first NBA head job with the Charlotte Hornets.

Jim Boylen – Chicago Bulls:

Monday, January 27: at Chicago

Friday, March 20: vs. Chicago

Jim Boylen was an assistant under Pop from 2013-15 before moving to Chicago and eventually being promoted to the head job after last year’s interim gig.

Steve Kerr – Golden State Warriors:

Friday, November 1: at Golden State

Tuesday, December 31: vs. Golden State

Sunday, March 29: at Golden State

Friday, April 3: vs. Golden State

Steve Kerr spent two different stints in San Antonio during his playing career winning two titles with the Spurs. Kerr has become one of Popovich’s best friends in the league over the last two decades.

Doc Rivers – Los Angeles Clippers:

Thursday, October 31: at Los Angeles

Friday, November 29: vs. Los Angeles

Saturday, December 21: vs. Los Angeles

Monday, February 3: at Los Angeles

Doc Rivers played for the Spurs from 1994-96 while Gregg Popovich was an assistant on San Antonio’s staff.

5 San Antonio Spurs you might not remember from championship seasons. Related Story

Taylor Jenkins – Memphis Grizzlies:

Monday, November 11: vs. Memphis

Monday, December 23: at Memphis

Friday, January 10: at Memphis

Monday, March 16: vs. Memphis

New Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins was an assistant with the Spurs’ G League affiliate in Austin from 2008-13 and has worked on Mike Budenholzer’s staffs in Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Alvin Gentry – New Orleans Pelicans:

Wednesday, January 22: at New Orleans

Wednesday, March 20: at New Orleans

Sunday, April 5: vs. New Orleans

Wednesday, April 15: vs. New Orleans

Alvin Gentry and Gregg Popovich were both assistant coaches together in San Antonio during the 1989-90 season.

Monty Williams – Phoenix Suns:

Saturday, December 14: at Phoenix (in Mexico City)

Monday, January 20: at Phoenix

Friday, January 24: vs. Phoenix

Monty Williams played for the Spurs during Pop’s first few years as a head coach from 1996-98.

Quin Snyder – Utah Jazz:

Wednesday, January 29: vs. Utah

Friday, February 21: at Utah

Sunday, March 22: vs. Utah

Tuesday, March 24: at Utah

Quinn Snyder was the head coach of the G League Austin Toros from 2007-10.

Next: Former Spurs on Other Teams

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 3: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 3: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Former Spurs on Other Teams

Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers

Thursday, October 31: at Los Angeles

Friday, November 29: vs. Los Angeles

Saturday, December 21: vs. Los Angeles

Monday, February 3: at Los Angeles

The most marquee of former Spurs revenge matchups will obviously be their four games against Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers this season. The Clips are currently the favorites to take home the NBA title this year after Kawhi signed with them following his one and only season in Toronto.

Danny Green – Los Angeles Lakers

Sunday, November 3: vs. Los Angeles

Monday, November 25: vs. Los Angeles

Tuesday, February 4: at Los Angeles

Danny Green also left Toronto for L.A. after being traded to the Raptors last summer, but he joined Kawhi’s crosstown rival Lakers. With a thin roster behind LeBron and Anthony Davis, they’ll be counting on Green to be a major contributor this season.

George Hill – Milwaukee Bucks

Saturday, January 4: at Milwaukee

Monday, January 6: vs. Milwaukee

George Hill spent the first three seasons of his career in San Antonio from 2008-11 as the Spurs’ coaching staff helped him develop into a very solid two-way guard.

Kyle Anderson – Memphis Grizzlies

Monday, November 11: vs. Memphis

Monday, December 23: at Memphis

Friday, January 10: at Memphis

Monday, March 16: vs. Memphis

Kyle Anderson signed with Memphis last summer after spending the first four years of his career with the Spurs. He scored 8.3 points per game with 5.3 rebounds in three matchups against San Antonio last season.

Related Story. Re-Evaluating the Kawhi Leonard Trade

Davis Bertans – Washington Wizards

Saturday, October 26: vs. Washington

Wednesday, November 20: at Washington

In a move that the Spurs probably regret following the Marcus Morris situation, San Antonio traded Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards. Losing Bertans’ deadly outside shooting was a major blow to the Spurs’ roster.

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Pau Gasol – Portland Trail Blazers

Monday, October 28: vs. Portland

Saturday, November 16: vs. Portland

Thursday, February 6: at Portland

The Spurs bought out Pau Gasol’s contract last season, but he’ll still have a job in the NBA this year at 39 years old after signing with Portland this summer.

Boban Marjanovic – Dallas Mavericks

Monday, November 18: at Dallas

Thursday, December 26: at Dallas

Wednesday, February 26: vs. Dallas

Tuesday, March 10: vs. Dallas

Even though he only spent one year in San Antonio, Boban was instantly a fan favorite. He’s played for three teams in the last two years and will be joining yet another new team in Dallas this season.

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Next. The most intriguing San Antonio Spurs games to watch in the 2019-20 season

Cory Joseph – Sacramento Kings

Friday, December 6: vs. Sacramento

Saturday, February 8: at Sacramento

Tuesday, March 31: at Sacramento

Tuesday, April 7: vs. Sacramento

Cory Joseph spent the first four seasons of his career in San Antonio and won a championship with the Spurs over the Miami Heat in 2014.

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