Packed My Bags Last Night Pre-Flight
Houston 95, San Antonio 108 // 40-7 // 1st in the West
Our first meeting with Houston occurred way back on Nov 6, 2010. We barely beat them by 3, needing an OT to accomplish it, even as Yao didn’t play and Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin both left the game with injury. At that point, we were just 4-1, with nary a glimpse of the success that was to come. Forty two games later, and we’re the first team to 40 wins. Our nearest competition in the West is the Lakers, sitting 7-1/2 games behind us after losing to the Celtics this afternoon. We’ve been healthy, and we’ve been lucky. But mostly, we’ve just been good.
And we’re still getting better. The time that this improvement normally happens in the season–the Rodeo Road Trip–is upon us. Will this team take its normal upswing on this road trip like it normally does? Can it find another gear to elevate to and ride into the post-season?
The schedule on the road trip is an interesting one. It’s 9 games long, which is more games than most. But it only spans 17 days, which seems short. There are 3 sets of back-to-backs on the trip (and one stretch of 5 games in 7 nights), but only 3 teams with +.500 records. Of the 9 teams played, only 3 are from the Western Conference, and only 2 (Portland and Los Angeles) are potential playoff teams. Based on the timing of the schedule, it could be a grueling trip; based on the teams on the schedule and how well we’re playing, it could be a very successful trip. Given all the variables, I would predict 6 or 7 wins, with anything over a 6-3 mark a success.
The trip starts Tuesday night in Portland at the Rose Garden, where I’ll be sitting about 5 rows up near mid-court opposite the benches. Look for me; I’ll be wearing my road Ginobili jersey and cheering against about 20,000 Blazers fans.