Last year, the NBA had to squeeze a condensed 66-game schedule into a small window because of the lockout. Pretty much everyone had their complaints because the games were too frequent and fatigue and injuries became a big factor.
This year, we are back to the normal 82-game schedule, but some are still critical of the way the games are arranged. Yes, everyone plays 41 home games and 41 on the road, but it’s the frequency and grouping that does not always make sense.
Take the Philadelphia 76ers for example. The Sixers have just started a stretch where they’ll play 12 of 13 games at home. Some might look forward to that, but the team also had an eight-game road trip at the end of December, and seven of their last nine games of the season are on the road.
Sixers coach Doug Collins says the imbalance is a big inconvenience for his team.
I hate the schedule that is so top-heavy home and on the road," Collins said. "A guy could roll an ankle and miss 10 home games, and where are you? [The schedule] is absolutely brutal. In 40 years in the NBA, I have never seen one like it.
The Sixers are not the only ones who have a right to complain about the schedule. We all remember the San Antonio Spurs’ “restgate” where they were fined by the league for resting their best players in a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat. That was in part because that was their sixth road game in the span of eight days, which would be grueling even on a younger team.
The Denver Nuggets had to play 9 of their first 12 games on the road, getting them off to a 6-6 start. The Utah Jazz have only played 15 games at home so far and 24 on the road.
The point is that there are some glaring discrepancies on the NBA calendar. I have never had to put together an 82-game schedule for 30 different teams, and I’m sure the people that do it try their hardest to make it as fair as they can, but you have to wonder if it could be spaced out better.