Being as geographically isolated as the Blazers are, you go into each year knowing that you’re team is going to have more back to backs and tougher road trips than most teams.
Being a smaller market increases this exponentially… Take heed the Lakers, that annually play about 1/4 as many back to backs as the Blazers do every year.
Through a shortened schedule, all of these aspects are going to be brought to light even more.
Also, in a normal NBA schedule, every team plays every team at least twice. Once at home, and once away. Then they play in conference games a little more about 3 times, and in division teams 4 times.
This year that won’t be the case, some Eastern teams we only play once. Before the schedule was released, it was noted we would hope to play all the hard teams at home. Chicago, Orlando, Boston, Heat… ETC and play weak eastern teams twice… Bobcats, Washington, Cavs, Detriot ETC…
Some teams this year are also going to be playing back to back to backs. 3 games in 3 nights. And sometimes 5 games in 6 nights. If there was anymore evidence needed that the owners won the battle, this is it. 5 games in 6 nights, is going to be sloppy, ugly basketball. This should have been a 50 game season, but really I am not complaining, I’m just glad there is basketball.
So… I’ll post a link to the schedule and then discuss, month by month, how I feel it will impact the Blazers
back to backs: 1. Games total: 3. Home/Road (3-0) Win/Loss (3-0)
The Blazers start off with a back to back at home against the 76ers and Sacramento, both winnable games, then get the Nuggets at home too. The Blazers should start off hot. Hopefully they put these teams away early and can utilize the bench more, because this is going to be a rough season for them
Back to backs: 4. Games total 18. Back to Back to Backs: 1 Home/Road (7-11) Win-Loss (10-6)
This month is hard to accurately guess the Blazers win/loss. They could go 13-5, they could go 5 - 13.
I really don’t know how the Blazers are going to play knowing they have 3 games in 3 nights. and 5 games in 6 nights. From the 20th to the 25th, The blazers play 5 games, 3 away. Luckily Their 3 games in a row are against the Kings, Grizzlies, and Warriors. Now normally I would say that’s a sweep, but all three of those teams beat us last year, and the only team we really played well against was the Kings. We play the Lakers this month at home. We play them 3 times total, but this is the only home game… We get to play Orlando at home. And luckily that’s the only times we face those guys! So that is good news. There is also a crazy road trip the Blazers play, starting on the 13th, ending on the 21st, we play 6 road games! Then get that B2B2B… So this could be a very tough month for our guys, but it could also be a time where we make a statement to the league! We also face the Thunder this month but catch a break against a lot of weak eastern teams.
Back to backs: 3 Games total: 14 Back to back to Backs: 1 Home/Road (9-5) Win-Loss (9-5)
Another tough month for the Blazers in terms of games played, but a lot of weaker teams as well. Another month where they could win the first 3 games, but then play OKC before having another stretch of winnable games until they go to Dallas. Then their 3 games in a row creeps up, and its 1 away game sandwiched by 2 home games. So that will be a lot of traveling for the Blazers. They play at home against Washington (win) then go to Golden state (win) and if they are feeling good enough get a home game against the Clippers (win?) On any given night that’s three wins for our team, but the Clippers could be rested and waiting for this game. We end the month against Atlanta, Lakers and Spurs… two of those are at home, but the Blazers better be careful there. The all star break comes up and on leap day we play the Nuggest.
Back to backs: 5 Games total: 17 Home/Road (8-9) (Win-Loss (9-8)
The month starts on a second of a back to back, so I included that in this month, and that second game is against the Heat. I was lucky enough to go that game last year, and I highly advise everyone to try and make it to that game, the energy is crazy! We start with 3 home games (all winnable), then a 7 game road trip! Split against some tough and hard teams. We will face the Knicks, Chicago, Boston and OKC. Expect the Blazers to be losing some games here. Really if they can pull out a positive month, then it is an awesome month. They don’t have to play Chicago, Boston or the Knicks anymore and will see more home games coming up. That being said, that stretch is brutal. Only Minny and Washington weren’t playoff teams last year, and to finish the month, they play the two LA teams on the road and see OKC at home again. Don’t give up hope on our guys if this a tough month.
Back to backs: 2 Games total: 14. Home/Away (7-7) Win-Loss (9-5)
Another month where it starts off easy, with 3 home games against weaker teams. Then Dallas and the Bucks. Followed by another good home stretch! We end the season on a 3 game road trip, so the last home game will be against Utah, as well as our last game of the season at Utah. Few back to backs this month could help our guys get rested for the playoffs and I believe 9 wins is being cautious. They easily could win more than that.
OVERALL. Some tough road stretches, some easy home stands. A lot of games in a lot of days. How will the knees hold up gentlemen? That will really decide how well we play. is 40-26 realistic? I think so. So here’s to you Blazers! Glad you’re back.