San Antonio Spurs: Looking Ahead to the 2022 Rodeo Road Trip
The San Antonio Spurs face the Cavaliers, Hawks, Pelicans, and Bulls to kick off the Rodeo Road Trip
Their first game, on February 9th in Cleveland, should be a cakewalk. The Spurs will be coming off five nights of rest and are playing an absolutely abysmal Cavaliers team that likely won't have any hope to make the playoffs by this point in the season. This will be a great opportunity for the Spurs to gain some momentum, and anything less than a 15-point blowout will be a disappointment.
Two days later, the Spurs head to Atlanta. I would like to see the team embarrass John Collins, but unless Dejounte Murray has the defensive game of his life and Poeltl manages to out-rebound Clint Capela, I suspect this will be a close loss. The Hawks only seem to be getting better each year.
The very next night, the Spurs stay south to play against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. If Coach Pop rests guys against Atlanta and all goes according to plan, San Antonio should mop the floor with them. Williamson could put up as many as 40 points and grab 15 boards, but the Pelicans will have no answer for Murray, White, Walker, and even Bryn Forbes on the perimeter.
Keldon Johnson may even manage to shut down Williamson. He has played well on him in the past, and although he doesn’t have his size, if Williamson puts the ball on the floor at all, Johnson has the discipline and instincts to grabs some steals. If the Spurs give Atlanta all their might the night before, this will be a close game but I suspect San Antonio will pull through.
On Valentine’s Day, the Spurs head north to face the Bulls in the United Center. Even if the Spurs pull out all the stops, Murray can only guard LaVine or DeRozan, not both at the same time. Lonzo Ball is poised to break out this year, and Nikola Vucevic could very well embarrass Poeltl if he draws him outside the paint. The Bulls have little to no team defense, but their offense should be remarkable. The Spurs could easily put up 125 points, but the Bulls could also easily put up 140 on a good night. If Chicago goes cold, this game will be a cakewalk, but that seems unlikely.