San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich knows the team has had a schedule with the Spurs traveling more than usual this early in the season.
The Spurs were hit with two sets of back-to-backs already traveling across the country and to Canada, forcing him to sit his players as a pre-cautionary measure (and forcing a heavy fine from the NBA commissioner too).
After beating the Charlotte Bobcats, the Spurs have three more away games left before they see their home court (at Houston, Utah, and Portland). The Spurs usually only have to look at the Rodeo Road Trip as the part of their schedule with heavy amounts of away games.
Some Spurs fans are upset, but after the first meeting against the Houston Rockets, Gary Neal is finding a positive way to describe it.
"I think we're 16-4 with the kind of schedule that we've had, with the injuries that we've had so I think that's huge. You know, we just have to continue to build and continue to try to get better."
It's been said that the Rodeo Road Trip helps the team bond more when they're on the road and around each other's company. This tough schedule may be a blessing for the team's chemistry, especially with two top players (Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson) still out for the team.
The bench has stepped up and played with a collective energy that the Spurs haven't had before.
Neal also commented that the Spurs have shown "professionalism" with how they've handled this schedule so far. They haven't complained or made excuses when they've lost and have decided to do things their way, even if it comes with being a few thousand dollars poorer.
With how the bench is playing throughout this schedule, the Spurs might actually have an advantage late in the season with sitting their key players at different times without jeopardizing games.