Dec 6, 2011, 8:21 PM EST
The NBA schedule is out and there is a lot to comb through. Here are some things that jumped out to us at first glance, plus the basic details you need to know.
• Games tip-off on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, with five games.
• It is a 66 game season that runs through April 26 (about a week later than normal).
• Game 7 of the NBA finals could be on June 26, again about a week later than normal. (The NBA could not push back farther due to the Olympics, Team USA is expected to open camp July 5.)
• There are 42 sets of back-to-back-to-back games (three games in three nights).
• Miami gets a soft start to the season — 11 out of their first 19 at home and they only leave the Eastern time zone once (against Dallas in the opener).
• The Lakers, on the other hand, open with a back-to-back-to-back (host Bulls, at Kings, home to Jazz). However, they stay west of the Rockies until the middle of January.
• The Lakers are on national television 29 times (counting cable games like NBA TV).
• Miami has one back-to-back-to-back, Feb. 12 to 14.
• Dallas also opens pretty easy early as well with six of their first nine at home and all in the central time zone.
• Over at Daily Thunder they report Oklahoma City has 17 back-to-backs and but only one back-to-back-to-back.
• Oklahoma City gets a soft end to the season — 10 of their last 11 games are against teams that did not make the playoffs last year.
• The league tried to schedule a lot of marquee games. For example the Celtics get the Heat and Bulls both the maximum of four times each.
• Worst schedule stretch of the year goes to the Grizzlies in April — five games in six days starting at the Thunder, home to the Warriors, at Dallas, at Miami, home again to Dallas. Brutal.
• Boston does have an April stretch (13th to 19th) with five games in five different cities and two countries in six days. It’s part of a pattern as Boston spends 18 of its last 27 games on the road.
• Boston has to play 18 of its last 27 games on the road. They also have their first three on the road against the Knicks, Heat and Hornets.
• The Orlando Magic do not come out to Los Angeles to face the Lakers or Clippers this year. So no Dwight Howard in Los Angeles, unless….
• The Bulls circus road trip kicks them out of the United Center from Jan. 29 to Feb. 12, nine straight games. Bulls also start season with seven of first nine on the road.
• The Knicks have three games in four nights in early March and it is harsh: At Boston, at Dallas, at San Antonio.
• Starting Jan. 21 Spurs will spend 13 of 17 games on the road, plus they got two back-to-back-to-backs. The schedule was not nice to the old guys.
• Denver has to play 13 of its last 19 games on the road.
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