MILWAUKEE – On the road again.
It’s a recurring theme for teams as they navigate through the marathon National Basketball Association season trying to win while living out of a suitcase.
Some teams handle the road better than others.
The good ones find a way to win on the road. Then there are teams like the Washington Wizards, who have a 0-18 road record this season. That’s 11 games shy of the league record for consecutive road losses to start a season, set by Dallas in 1992-’93.
“Do we want to win on the road?” said Washington coach Flip Saunders. “There’s no question. But as I told our guys, we’re trying to create an environment on how we’re going to play for long-term success, and if we play that way, the wins will come whether it’s at home or on the road. So I think that’s what we’re trying to establish more than anything else.”
The Wizards were the only team in the league without a road victory.
Different teams face different road scenarios.
Early every season, Chicago vacates the United Center when the circus comes to town and heads out on a lengthy trip. The Bulls went 4-3 in November on this season’s circus trip.
The Spurs hit the road annually when the rodeo comes to San Antonio. This season, the Spurs embark on a nine-game, 17-day trip in early February that will take them from coast to coast.
In February, the Lakers have a seven-game trip and the Clippers play 10 straight road games when the Grammys take over the Staples Center.
But it’s not just the long trips that take a toll.
The Bucks, for example, have a schedule that is peppered with one- and two-game trips and that also can provide a challenge. Some teams, in fact, would prefer just to stay out on the road for a while after they get out there, rather than to be coming and going all the time.