The San Antonio Spurs will have to take advantage of what injuries and the pandemic prevented last season
Right off the bat, the Spurs will seize an opportunity early in the season by winning 10 out of the first 14 games they play. With a healthy Derrick White returning to the rotation, the Spurs can come out of the gate playing aggressively.
This on its own will surely have fans feeling quite a bit more optimistic about the start of the season, and when factoring in how the Spurs focused on adding shooters to the roster, that optimism likely only increases. Having White along with other reliable shooters on the roster may catch other teams off guard, being that they're more used to a Spurs team that lives in the midrange. That being said, growing pains may set in around Thanksgiving, which will make for a bleak December in which the Spurs take several losses away from home.
Even if they take some losses on the road, though, the Spurs will benefit by returning to their (mostly) winning ways at home. Although the team's 'dynasty days' are behind us, the very large majority of Spurs fans have not gone anywhere and will show intense support for the team's revamped roster. Having home-court advantage making its return to the league will be key for several teams' success, including the Spurs.
The friendly confines of what for now we'll jokingly call the “HemisFair Arena 2.0,” formally the AT&T Center, will regain its reputation as being one of if not the most difficult place to play in the league. The Spurs will feed off of the energy of the home crowd and their chants of "GO SPURS GO," only dropping a few close contests in the months leading up to the All-Star break in February. This advantage was something that was sorely missed for the large majority of last season with COVID-related crowd restrictions being in place.
This sets the stage for what will be the team's third and final key to success, and it will happen when their home arena is occupied by the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo: the notorious Rodeo Road Trip.
In their most successful years, the Spurs were able to hit their stride during this 22-day adventure across the country which often spans seven thousand miles or more. The Rodeo Road Trip is the ultimate test and to see just how far any season’s team can go. If the Spurs are successful, the momentum it can produce has proven to be paramount in the team's success going into the final stretch of the regular season.
Success during this extended road trip for the Spurs has not happened in a few years, and as with a struggling batter in baseball, San Antonio is due for a hit. In 2022, the Spurs will come in clutch and sweep the Rodeo Road Trip. Upon returning home, they'll find themselves only a few wins away from locking up the 6th seed in the upcoming NBA Playoffs that will begin the following month.