Breakdown: The 2011-12 NBA Schedule
The NBA released the 2011-12 schedule for all 30 teams on Tuesday, so we here at HOOPSWORLD decided to break down the numbers a bit. In order to do so we reviewed all 30 team schedules and broke out the games in the following categories:
- Longest home stands, noting 4-game, 5-game, and 6-or-more-game home stands.
- Longest road trips, noting 4-game, 5-game, and 6-or-more-game road trips.
- The number of back-to-back games.
- National TV games (ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBATV).
- Finally, the number of games of each team per month.
Here are the results, in a nice little graphic:
Theoretically all schedules are relatively equal. Teams play each team in their division four games each, each team in the other divisions in their conference three or four games each, and each team in the other conference twice each. But when so many factors need to be taken into account, such as travel between cities, other events at the home stadium (like a rodeo in San Antonio or a circus in Chicago), it’s quite difficult to work out, so odd things can happen.
Odd things like the Utah Jazz will play 19 games in March – no other team has an 18-game month. Yikes.
Philadelphia and San Antonio each have the longest road trip on the season at nine games. On the other end of the spectrum the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns each earned themselves nine-game homestands.
Chicago, Denver and the Clippers each have eight-game road trips and Sacramento ended up with a eight-game homestand. Chicago also ended up with a seven-game trip, as did New York and Portland. Denver, Houston, the L.A. Lakers, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto have seven-game home stands.
Quick, don’t scroll up – who has the most national television appearances? Miami? The Lakers? Nope, it’s the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks with 30 each. New York is next with 29, Miami has 28, and Oklahoma City and the Lakers received 27 each. Charlotte only was given one slot, and Detroit and Milwaukee three each.
Six teams (Houston, Indiana, the Clippers, Milwaukee, Minnesota and New York) have 22 back-to-backs. On the opposite end Phoenix, Sacramento and Toronto will have only 16.
Who has it easiest? None of them are truly easy, but Memphis seems to have a nice breakdown. With two four-game and five-game homestands, plus four road trips of only four games, they won’t be shuffling in and out of Memphis all the time, plus they have only 19 back-to-backs. Check out their month-by-month amount of games too: 14, 14, 15, 15, 14, 10. That’s balance.
How about the worst? While Utah’s March is truly a monster to deal with, that might not even be the worst month given to a team. Both Memphis and Cleveland have to play 15 games in February (see, it’s not all good for the Grizzlies), a month with only 29 days (leap year remember) plus the All-Star Break. That means those 15 games will be played in roughly 24 days. Never mind, Utah’s March is still worse.
Atlanta gets the vote for worst overall. With road trips of five and six games, and only one homestand of four games, they will be traveling quite a bit. Add in 21 back-to-backs and a 17-game March and it won’t be pretty for the Hawks.
Now, let’s just hope this really is the schedule and games do kick off the beginning of November…