How will the San Antonio Spurs respond to a full home crowd?
So, what does all of this mean? With fans being in the stands again next year, the Spurs will need to find ways to win on the road. With most of the veterans in Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, and DeMar DeRozan likely walking in free agency this summer, the front office will almost certainly be forced into a full-blown youth movement. Sure, a couple of veteran free agents could potentially be added to the squad, but that won't be nearly enough to save them.
With the AT&T Center likely at full capacity for next season, it's fair to assume that the young guys will be able to hold their own and maintain the status quo of winning in San Antonio. Maybe they won't be as dominant as years past and their home record will be closer to .500, but one has to think with the crowd at their backs, young guys like Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell who have not had the luxury of playing in front of a packed home crowd will benefit greatly from that environment.
Assuming the NBA will be back to their regularly scheduled 82-game regular season next year, 41 of those games will be on the road for every NBA team. If the Spurs do decide to fully embrace the youth movement, that could mean trouble. Young, inexperienced teams typically do not perform well on the road.
The loud crowds and hostile environments can be too much to handle at times, and yet the only way to improve in those environments is to gain as much experience in them as possible. Even before this season and the team's heavy reliance on its veterans, the Spurs have struggled immensely on the road.