Do the Magic Have the Toughest Back-to-Back Schedule?
The NBA released the full regular season sched yesterday, and after taking a close look, the Sentinel argues that Orlando may have the toughest set of back-to-back games in the Eastern Conference: “Both the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls will play 23 pairs of back-to-back games during the 2010-11 season. That’s the maximum number of back-to-backs allowed by the league’s schedule makers. The Magic will play 20 back-to-backs, while the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat will play 19 apiece. But all back-to-backs are not created equal. The toughest arguably are the ones in which a team plays road games on consecutive nights or immediately follows a home game with a road game the next day. And if you look closely, the Magic seem to have a tougher back-to-back schedule than the East’s other four top teams. This upcoming season, the Magic will play 12 home-to-away back-to-backs. In 2009-10, they played six. In 2008-09, the played five. In 2007-08 they played six. The Magic will also play five away-to-away back-to-backs. That’s down from the 7.3 they averaged the last three seasons. The chart below shows that the Magic will play a higher percentage of away-to-away and home-to-away games than the Bulls, Celtics, Hawks and Heat.”