Extreme NBA Schedule Demands
The most intense parts of each team’s regular season schedule.
Miami Heat – A killer five-game run in mid-April could make or break their playoff seed. The Heat welcome the Celtics onto their turf Apr. 10, touch down in Chicago the 12th, host the Bobcats the next night then hit the Tri-State for a back-to-back against the Knicks and Nets the 15th and 16th. Bron Bron better Take A Sheet quite often for that journey.
Milwaukee Bucks – Six games in nine days Jan. 20-28 is likely going to make them cry. Guaranteed. They’re at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks on the 20th, go to South Beach for the Heat on the 22nd, host the Hawks all the way up in Milwaukee the next night, go to Houston on the 25th, Chicago on the 27th and then host the Lakers the night following that. Holy crap.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Five games in eight days seem relatively tame by NBA 2011-12 standards. Yet that timetable from Jan. 23-30 represents an excellent opportunity for the T-Wolves to go winless. They host Houston, visit Dallas, host San Antonio and the Lakers and visit Houston (back-to-back) during that period. KLove might need some of that Cuervo he’s been endorsing all offseason.
New Jersey Nets – They get two four-game-in-five-night deals less than a month apart. During Jan. 21-25, they go three straight vs. OKC and Charlotte then visit Chicago (the b-t-b-t-b) and Philly. On Feb. 18, the go to Chicago, host Milwaukee the next night then ride across the Hudson River to play at MSG on the 20th. A match versus the Magic on the 22nd completes that vicious cycle.
New York Knicks – The 7-11! Starting April 8, the Knickerbockers host the Bulls, play in their building on the 10th, at Milwaukee on the 11th, host Washington, Miami and Boston the 13th, 15th and 17th then play at the Nets on the 18th. Amar’e knees are already screaming.
Oklahoma City Thunder – How’s this for five contests in six days? The Thunder have a back-to-back-to-back Feb. 6-8 versus Houston, at Houston and versus San Antonio, take a day off, then go back-to-back at Memphis and N’awlins. KD and Russ might as well not take their backpacks off during that trip.
Orlando Magic – The good news during a four-game period Jan. 16-20 is they host the latter three contests. Bad news is Stan Van Gundy’s vocal chords will explode from fatigue. They go back-to-back-to-back Feb. 16-18 at the Knicks then at home against the Bobcats and Spurs. Then they await the Lakers for the 20th. (And then go to Boston on the 23rd.)
Philadelphia 76ers – It’s a good thing the Sixers have the first three days of January off. From Jan. 6-10, they host the Pistons, Raptors (back-to-back), Pacers and Kings. They visit the Knicks Jan. 11 to complete a back-to-back-to-back then do a home-and-home with the Wizards the 13th and 14th.
Phoenix Suns – Oh, poor Steve Nash. Four games from Jan. 15-20 take them to San Antonio, Chicago, New York City (back-to-back) and Boston. Two days off and then a visit to Dallas on the 23rd and a home game against the Raptors the following day. Oh, boy.
Portland Trail Blazers – Back-to-back-to-backs are never fun, but they seem particularly cruel after a six-game road trip. Especially one that takes nine days to complete. That’s the case for the Blazers, who travel to San Antonio, Houston, N’awlins, Atlanta, Toronto and Detroit for the mega-roader Jan. 13-21, then must prepare for three straight Jan. 23-25 against Sacramento, Memphis and Golden State (in Oakland). Now Paul Allen has something else to complain about.
Sacramento Kings – Tyreke, DeMarcus, Jimmer and company get to dig themselves a big hole early. They open the season hosting the Lakers and going to Portland Dec. 26-27. They host Chicago, New York and New Orleans the 29th, 31st and Jan. 1, go to Memphis and Denver the 3rd and 4th then swing back to welcome the Bucks to Arco (or whatever the hell it’s called now) on the 5th.
San Antonio Spurs – Talk about weird quirks in the schedule. This heavyweight goes against the Lakers three times in 10 days April 11-20—the 11th, 17th and 20th. Four other games are sandwiched into the schedule during that time frame, including the Grizzlies at home. For what it’s worth, they host the Lakers two of those three games.
Toronto Raptors – This keeps getting better and better. The Raptors play four games in five nights Mar. 13-17 at Cleveland, New Jersey (back-to-back), Memphis and Charlotte (back-to-back). Then it gets interesting. From the 20th through the 24th, Toronto plays at the Knicks, hosts the Bulls (back-to-back), welcomes the Knicks to Canada and plays at the Bulls (back-to-back). Roger that, you crazy NBA schedule.
Utah Jazz – I’m getting tired just researching this so I’ll leave it short and sweet for the Jazz. They go back-to-back-to-back on the road Feb. 12-14 at Memphis, New Orleans and Oklahoma City. Why does it feel like those three cities are the source for every back-to-back or back-to-back-to-back?
Washington Wizards – Five games in seven days on the road…and that’s not even the entire road trip! Wash goes to San Antonio, Dallas (back-to-back), New Orleans, Atlanta (back-to-back) and Memphis Mar. 12-18. They still have to visit New Jersey on the 21st before playing the next night in their own arena versus the Pacers. They get a day off following that. Then they go three straight versus Atlanta, at Boston and versus Detroit Mar. 24-26. That pretty much sums up how loopy the NBA’s 2011-12 regular season schedule is. FANtastic!