Feb 18, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
There are other complicating factors (days rest, injuries, etc.), but here’s a chart sorting NBA teams by the two most important elements of a schedule – opponent quality and location – for the rest of the season:
- Top right: Good opponents, more road games
- Top left: Bad opponents, more road games
- Bottom right: Good opponents, more home games
- Bottom left: Bad opponets, more home games
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night’s games – the first games after All-Star Break. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
A few observations:
- Western Conference teams, because they play each other, face much better opponents than Eastern Conference teams.
- The Toronto Raptors, who are already 28-24 and third in the East, have the NBA’s easiest remaining schedule – by far.
- The Houston Rockets, who are 36-17 and third in the West, arguably have the hardest remaining schedule, though the home-road split tilts the difficulty more than opponent quality.
- The Detroit Pistons will have a tough time cracking the playoffs. They’re a half game out, and they have the East’s hardest remaining schedule.
- The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks both face interesting roads. The Lakers play extremely tough opponents, but they’re mostly in Los Angeles. The Knicks, on the other hand, are mostly on the road, but they face relatively bad opponents.
- Should NBA coaches get NFL style challenge flags? 17
- Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe 25
- Report: Sixers may look to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire at this season’s deadline 32
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 9
- Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good 25
- Report: Agent for Greg Monroe pursued sign-and-trade deals with five teams, including Thunder and Blazers 25
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 23
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2