Now that the hoopla of All-Star weekend is over, it's time to get back to business for the San Antonio Spurs in the remaining 26 games.
But first, let's look at what happened for the team during the Rodeo Road Trip.
In the past, Spurs has always used the Rodeo Road Trip to fix a few kinks in their game, and prepare them for the stretch run.
Since 2003, the Spurs have a fantastic overall record on their rodeo excursion which has helped the team to bond more which is crucial in the long run. This year's road trip looked a lot easier than their previous annual tour away from San Antonio. A quick look at their nine road games and a 6-3 record seemed to be a modest bet --- six of their opponents on this recently concluded trip have losing records.
The team bounced back by pounding the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets but lost their last rodeo game against the Chicago Bulls. In the end, the Spurs finished the Rodeo Road Trip with a 6-3 record but loss to some teams that they should have beaten. Despite the loss however, the Spurs stayed on top of the standings and kept a five game cushion over the rest of the NBA teams going into the All-Star Break.
The Rodeo Road Trip is the gauge of how this Spurs team will do in the second half of the season, it is usually the time where Spurs pick up the pace towards a strong push going into the playoffs. They are the league's best from the get-go and are playing well against elite teams and taking care of business against "lesser" squads and are showing a winning attitude.
Nonetheless, they dropped a game against Philadelphia, lost to an injury plague Portland team and was defeated by the Bulls who played without Joakim Noah. I know looking for a perfect road trip might be asking too much, but on paper the Spurs are clearly better than the 76ers and seemingly had the upper hand against Portland being short-handed. Losing to the 76ers don't bother me much, but the loss to the Trail Blazers is a bit troubling.