Rudy Gay sees rough start to Rodeo Trip as 'learning experience'

San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay goes up for a dunk as Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The 2019 San Antonio Spurs Rodeo Trip is not off to a tremendous start.

The Spurs are 0-3 on the extended trip away from San Antonio after losing to the Trail Blazers, 127-118, in their third road stop.

“It’s tough, I mean, obviously we’ve had some tough losses on games we thought we should’ve won but, you know, it’s a long season," Rudy Gay said after the game.

San Antonio has compiled a winning record in 15 of 17 Rodeo Trips. The 0-3 start this year is a first, and it will not get any easier.

The Spurs have dates with the Jazz, Nets, and Raptors on the horizon. The have two winnable games against the Knicks and Grizzlies but their rough start may stop anyone from penciling in any certain wins at this point.

In the last three outings, the Spurs are a -21 and turning the ball over 15 times per game. Their 3-point shooting has dipped to 38 percent and their defense has come undone.

Opposing teams are posting 131.7 points per game versus the Spurs and are shooting 56 percent from the field and 41 percent from the 3-point line. They're also getting out-rebounded. Teams are grabbing 44.3 rebounds per game while the Spurs are at a 39.7 clip.

Said Gay, "This is a learning experience for us."

Heading into the Rodeo Trip, the Spurs looked like they had returned to form. They were riding a 5-game win streak including four straight at home.

However, that success did not carry over to the road as the team expected.

"I guess we were at home and we were on a high and I guess we thought we would come on the road and play the same kind of game," Gay said.

The Spurs did get back LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan after sitting out their recent game against the Warriors but will still be without starting point guard Derrick White. He has been dealing with right foot soreness.

Getting back their two all-star players will help but much work is needed on both ends of the floor.

From taking care of the ball (18 turnovers in back-to-back outings) to improved defense, the Spurs will have plenty to learn from the horrible start to the road trip.

"We have to change it up. We have to be better. So, it was definitely a learning experience for us," Gay said.