Don't expect Gregg Popovich to feel bad about your travel schedule. Thursday's game against the San Antonio Spurs marked the sixth city the Denver Nuggets had to visit in 10 days. It was also the second night of a back-to-back that featured an overtime game against New Orleans the evening before.
"I don't care," responded Gregg Popovich when asked about the tough circumstances after the game. The Spurs had just defeated the Nuggets 123-111 in a game where they led by as many as 18 and never trailed.
"We just had the same thing," continued Popovich. "Everybody has it. They know it. We all go through it."
The Spurs have had a favorable schedule in terms of travel and rest so far, but it's about to get much tougher this month. After having a league-low one back-to-back in October and November, they have four in December.
"We're all going to have those nights where the schedule is against us," continued Pop. "We had that the other day." Popovich is likely referring to the back-to-back last week in which the Spurs had to play in Phoenix and then at home against a rested Knicks the following day. They were noticeably flat in the latter game.
The San Antonio Spurs are no stranger to brutal schedules
Last season's pandemic-laden season was absolutely devastating toward the Spurs' season and ended up forcing them to play 40 times in 68 days. Not only was that way too much to ask, it was also dangerous for the health of the players. They had an insane 12 back-to-backs from March through May during that stretch.
As Air Alamo writer Robert Araiza said a few months ago, December will probably be the toughest month for this team. The Spurs shouldn't expect to be shown any mercy, and Popovich doesn't expect to give any either.
San Antonio has another back-to-back already this weekend, hosting the Denver Nuggets on Saturday and New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.