NBA cruelly releases 2011-12 schedule
The NBA excruciatingly and teasingly released the 2011-12 schedule on Tuesday afternoon. Really not a nice thing for them to do seeing as there’s a great chance that the season won’t start as it’s currently planned.
And yet, we can’t predict the future. Instead, we have to go off the information we have at hand.
According to the 2011-12 Phantom NBA Schedule, the Spurs open the season at home on Wednesday, November 2 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Two nights later, they host the reigning NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Surprisingly, the November 4th game against Dallas isn’t on national television.
The Spurs are scheduled to play 20 contests on national TV, with 10 of those games on ESPN and four on TNT. The other six will be broadcast on NBA TV.
Like last season, the Spurs are scheduled for 18 back-to-back sets. Unlike last season, most of those sets are early in the season. The Spurs played seven back-to-backs in March and April last season. In 2012, the Spurs only have five back-to-backs after the All-Star break. Only eight games in March and April are on the road.
Theoretically, all of this will help the Spurs stave off some fatigue heading into the playoffs and possibly avoid injury. Hopefully. Possibly. Who knows?
One fun little quirk of the 2011-12 schedule: the Spurs are scheduled to play on Leap day, February 29, against the New Jersey Nets. I’m picturing full moons and rising tides. And werewolves.
The Spurs play their first game against the Memphis Grizzlies the day after Christmas, December 26 (Boxing Day!). George Hill will make his return to the AT&T Center on Friday, March 30. The dreaded purple and gold of the Lakers will see the Spurs just three times next season, once in November and twice in April. Two of the three games are at Staples Center.
The gruelling and glorious Rodeo Road Trip begins on Monday, February 6 in Washington DC against the Wizards. The Spurs then take on Philadelphia, Toronto, Detroit, Memphis, the Clippers, Utah and Portland before finishing in Denver on February 23. San Antonio then has the luxury of a seven game home stand.
Some folks are of the opinion that a 50 game season could be good for an older, veteran team like the Spurs. This could be true, but there’s something to keep in mind. If the NBA schedule changes, and there’s a good chance it does, the Rodeo Road Trip is going to be key. The rodeo doesn’t care about a lockout, it’s going to start and end on its normal days. It doesn’t matter how short the NBA’s season is.
In 1999, the Spurs didn’t have a Rodeo Road Trip. The longest stretch on the road they had was four games, which they did twice.
If next season is shortened to 50 games or a similar number, the Rodeo Road Trip could take on even more importance than it does now as a tuner of sorts. But first thing’s first, let’s just make sure there is a season.