The NBA set the table for the San Antonio Spurs to catch fire in February

San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs have a multitude of road games in February, but there’s reason to believe they could benefit from the schedule nonetheless.

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo finally moved to another building, but that didn’t stop the NBA from scheduling another February road trip for the San Antonio Spurs. When the league released the first-half schedule for the Silver and Black, there was still a familiar column of several consecutive “at’s” on the schedule beginning February 12th.

The Spurs will get some home love before their annual road trip, however, as they open the month with four out of five games at the AT&T Center. Soon after that, San Antonio will hit the road for seven straight road games, beginning with a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

In the times of the Big Three, the road trip used to be when the Spurs flourished and came together as a unit heading into March. From there, S.P.A.M. frequently happened — Spurs Peak After March (only old school Spurs forum members might get that reference).

Recently, though, the rodeo road trip has been far from friendly. Last season, the Spurs lost their first five games of the trip, eventually picking up two wins before dropping one last game in Oklahoma City. The year before that was even worse, with San Antonio finishing 1-7.

Why the San Antonio Spurs could flip the script

Last year’s road trip was brutal in terms of the strength of competition. Beginning with a back-to-back against both Los Angeles teams, the Spurs had to battle with six different teams that made the Western Conference playoffs. The combined record of the eight teams they had to face was 345-233 for a 59.6 win percentage.

Fortunately, this season’s road trip features just two teams that made the 2020 postseason and only one Western Conference foe. The schedule breaks down like this:

AtlantaCharlotteDetroitClevelandNew YorkIndiana Oklahoma City

These seven teams combined for a record of 173-282 for a win percentage of just 38 percent. The level of competition on this season’s road trip is the lightest it’s been in years and perhaps the lightest it’s ever been.

Of course, the Spurs didn’t exactly help themselves when facing below .500 competition last season, going 16-15 against such teams. Their opponents’ skill level won’t matter if they don’t take each of them seriously, which Gregg Popovich usually takes care of.

February ends with one last home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 27 before the Spurs close out the first half of their season, continuing their homestand with showdowns against Brooklyn, New York, and Oklahoma City.

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On paper, the Spurs should be able to go into the NBA All-Star break having won about eight of their last 11 games to gain momentum going into the second half. The NBA has set the table for the Silver and Black to get back to where they belong — the Spurs just need to sit down and feast.