FanPost

Back-to-Backs: Are the Blazers getting a raw deal?

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Alright, so I have been getting tired of the inordinate amount of back-to-back games that our Blazers haave had to play this season, and so I did a little bit of digging around.  I visited some select websites here on SBNation to determine what type of back-to-back schedules the other teams in the league have.  I chose to draw comparisons with the Jazz and OKC (our division Rivals); the Heat, Lakers, and Celtics (the NBA elite); and the Sacramento Kings (for added perspective).  You may find the results interesting.

I chose to break down the back-to-backs into 3 time categories for some added perspective on when the bulk of the back-to-backs were scheduled.  The first shows how many back to backs the teams have played up through the new year, which is basically where we are now.  This should give us some perspective on what has happened up to this point.  Next, we look at what the middle period around the All-Star break. Then, we examine March and April, to see what kind of a break the teams get from back-to-backs leading up to the playoffs.

Then comes the total number of back-to-backs.

And the last category shows how many times each team is scheduled to play against a team with a (currently) winning record on the second night of a back-to-back.  I figured this relevant because if a team is tired on the second night of a back-to-back, then their chances of taking a loss are increased even more when the team is good. 

 Following this stat, in parentheses I mention how many second-nighters the team plays against “elite” teams.  This is sort of an opinion, really, but it accounts for which teams I think are really good.  I generally include LA, SA, Dallas, Miami, Boston, and Orlando in this category.

 So here you go.

 

Blazers:

Opener through December:  8 (4 BtBs in fist dozen games)

Jan and February:  6

In March and April:  7

Total:  21

+.500 on 2nd night:  12 (Including 6 games against elite teams, of which 5 are in March/April; against Boston, Miami, S.A. and 3 second-nighters against Lakers)

 

Jazz:

Opener through December:  9

Jan and Feb:  7

In March and April:  3 (all in March)

Total:  19

+.500 on 2nd night: 9 (2 elite opponents in Dallas and Orlando)

 

OKC:

Opener through December:  7

Jan and Feb:  4

In March and April:  5

Total:  16

+.500 on 2nd night: 9 (1 against Orlando)

 

Flakers:

Opener through December:  6

Jan and Feb:  6

In March and April:  2

Total:  14

+.500 on 2nd night:  6 (no games against elite teams)

 

Heat:

Opener through December:  8

Jan and Feb:  7

In March and April:  4

Total:  19

+.500 on 2nd night:  7 (2 elite games vs. Dallas and S.A.)

 

Celtics:

Opener through December:  7

Jan and Feb:  5

In March and April:  5

Total:  17

+.500 on 2nd night:  7 (1 elite games vs. Dallas)

 

Kings:

Opener through December:  4

Jan and Feb:  9

In March and April:  5

Total:  18

+.500 on 2nd night:  14 (5 elite games; Orlando, Boston, S.A, 2 vs. Dallas)

 

Out of the 7-team sample size you can see right off the bat that the Blazers play more back-to-backs than any of these teams with a grand total of 21.  12 of those games are against winning teams, and they also play the most second nighters against elite teams, with 3 of their second nighters being against the dreaded Lakers!  They also boast more games than any of the other teams during the period leading up to the playoffs.  It might follow then, that the Blazers are likely to be the most exhausted come playoff time.  It is also worth noting that 5 of the Blazers elite second night games are scheduled during March or April.  I find that fact astonishing!  Actually, I find all of this astonishing, given that we have one of the (if not the) most injury-riddled rosters in the NBA.  Get ready for one heckuva ending run to the season Blazers, because unless our team really figures things out, we are likely headed for disaster come March, when our schedule gets truly brutal.

The next thing to notice is that the Lakers only play 14 back-to-backs all season!  And, they do not play any elite teams on the second night of that back-to-back.  They also get a nice break leading up to the playoffs, with a total of 2 back-to-backs after the beginning of March.  Gee, isn’t that nice?

The only other obnoxious thing to note is that Dallas sure does seem to get to play a lot of the good teams when they are on the second night of their back-to-backs.  That must be nice for them.

Well, there you have it.  The Blazers (at least based on the above statistics) are once again getting the raw end of the deal.  It appears that whomever has scheduled these games has sure dealt us a bad hand.  Maybe there is a good reason for it, though?  I mean, I guess scheduling the Blazers is tricky, given their location in the NW, right?  I guess maybe our smallish market should get the short end of the stick with scheduling because we don’t bring in as much money?

Please, by all means, shed whatever light you can into this matter, because it does not seem fair to me.  Rant away, BEdgers!

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