1 Important Fact about the Schedules of All NBA Teams

2023-24 Schedule 1 Important Fact

When the 2023–24 schedule came out in August, the big news was opening night and the Christmas program. You can find lots of fun things if you dig deeper, though.

As was said after the game came out, the In-Season Tournament adds some new features. The most important thing to know is that each team has only 80 games planned. Next week, Week 7, which runs from December 4th to 9th, will have the other two. The Group plays games of the In-Season Tournament, which will be played every Tuesday and Friday in November, and will decide those matches.

Here are some notes on each team’s plan…

One team played the day or night before, but the other team (the team with the edge) did not. This is called a rest-advantage game or rest-disadvantage game. In the last three years, teams have gone 542-403 (0.574) in games where they had extra time to prepare, 339-216 (0.611) at home, and 203-187 (0.521) on the road.

The Atlanta Hawks

According to last season’s offensive performance, the Hawks have the most favorable schedule in the league. Out of their first 10 games, only one, on Oct. 27 in New York, will be against a team ranked in the top 14. Six of those games will be against teams that rank in the bottom 10 in offense.

The Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have 16 games with more rest than their opponents. Seven of those games are against Eastern Conference playoff teams from last season. Interestingly, they have two games against Atlanta but none against Milwaukee. The average number of rest-disadvantage games in the league is 10.3, but the Celtics have 11. Despite this, they are still one of only four teams in the league with a plus-5 difference.

The Brooklyn Nets

For the season’s first six weeks, the Nets have played 12-19 games at Barclays Center. This is the most of any team. From Games 2–5, they went on a four-game road trip. Their next 11 games are all at home, starting with a fun three-game homestand against the Celtics (Nov. 4), the Bucks (Nov. 6), and the Clippers (Nov. 8). In March, they have a stretch where they play 10 of 11 games away from home. That will cost them.

The Charlotte Hornets

This season, the Hornets are the only team that doesn’t have at least one two-game set, where they play the same team twice in the same arena. But they have the most home-and-home series in the league, with five. That means they play the same team twice in different arenas. The first of those series, against the Wizards in Week 3, is already underway. Also, along with the Magic and Spurs, they are one of only three teams that have eight straight home games. From March 27 to April 9, there will be a 14-day show.

The Chicago Bulls

The Bulls only have eight games where they don’t have two days of rest and half of those games are at home. Two of them—at Milwaukee and Miami—are part of a stretch from November 12th to November 18th that has five games in seven days. Besides, they are the only team from the East that isn’t playing two straight games in Los Angeles.

The Cleveland Cavaliers

Last season, the Cavaliers were 17-13 against teams from the Western Conference. In the first six weeks of the season, they played nine of their first twenty games against teams from the Western Conference. There are nine games left, and six are against the Warriors, Thunder, and Blazers. They’ll be done with those teams by the time Week 7 is played. But they also have the East’s last game in the West, with back-to-back games in Los Angeles on April 6 and 7. This will be the end of a five-game trip.

The Dallas Mavericks

The Knicks and the Mavs are the only teams with one back-to-back where they don’t have to travel. That one is two home games on December 1 and 2 against Memphis and Oklahoma City. But all four of their games against the Pelicans will be two-game sets: November 12 and 14 in New Orleans and January 13 and 15 in Dallas.

The Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets - Jokic, Murray and Gordon

The champs’ runs of five games in seven days happened in the season’s first six weeks. The first run is from Games 3–7. Only three teams have played five back-to-back games in the first six weeks. They are one of four teams with 21 games. The rest of the season will be easier because they only have one back-to-back (April 9 and 10) in March and April.

The Detroit Pistons

Based on last season’s total opponent winning percentage (.518), the Pistons’ 80-game schedule is the toughest in the league. Aside from the All-Star break, they also have the most one-game road trips (13) and breaks of two days or more (16).

The Golden State Warriors

This season, the Warriors are the only team in the league to play three straight road games in three different places in Texas. There are seven games left on the trip, which began in Minnesota and went east to play games in San Antonio (March 31), Dallas (April 2), and Houston (April 4). There have only been 12 trips to the Texas Triangle since the Celtics swept their trip in 2007–08. Since then, only six of the 12 teams that have made the trip have won two of the three games. The Blazers (2-1) and the Knicks (1-2) both went there in December last year. They last went there in 2018–19, when they lost all three games.

The Houston Rockets

Nine of the Rockets’ games are against teams playing the second game of a back-to-back, and five of their games give them extra rest. Three of those five games with extra time off are away from home. They are the only team that has yet to have a game with extra rest in the season’s first six weeks. Their first one comes on. 17 (at Milwaukee).

The Indiana Pacers

When the schedule came out, it was said that the Pacers had one of the easiest first six weeks in the league when location and rest were taken into account (based on FanDuel over/under at the time). One of their two sets of five games in seven nights is from Games 5–9. It’s a five-game homestand with games against the Hornets, Spurs, and Jazz. It should be a lot harder in January. 17 of their 20 games from December 30 to February 2 are against teams that were 500 or better last year.

The Los Angeles Clippers

When using results from 2022–23, the Clippers are the only team whose opponents have won exactly half of their 80 games (3,280–3,280). The Celtics and the Jazz are the other two teams that have three sets of five games in seven nights. None of the three sets involve a lot of travel, though. They’ll be in California for the whole first one (Nov. 24–30). After three games at home, they go to Sacramento and Golden State in a row.

The Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers had six more games with a rest advantage than games with a disadvantage last season, which tied them with Atlanta and Toronto for the most rest-advantage games. This season, they have five fewer games with a rest advantage (seven) than games with a rest disadvantage (12), tied with Houston and Orlando for the biggest difference in rest advantage.

The Memphis Grizzlies

Based on last season’s total opponent winning percentage, the Grizzlies’ 80-game schedule is the easiest in the league (.489). However, they are the only team that only has four or more games at home. They have seven sets of three games at home.

The Miami Heat

If the Heat isn’t one of the two Eastern Conference teams that don’t make it to the In-Season Tournament semifinals, they’ll play an inter conference game in Week 7. After that, they’ll play 25 of their first 30 games in the East, ending with their Christmas game against the Sixers. They will play at least four games against the Bulls, three games against the Nets, and three games against the Hornets during that time. They had the biggest difference (by a lot) between their record in the East (24-28,.462) and their record against the West (20-10,.667) last season.

The Milwaukee Bucks

When numbers from last season, location, and rest are taken into account, the Bucks have the easiest stretch of games. Week 7 was the week of the In-Season Tournament playoff rounds and fill-in games. After that, there are six games at home. The Bulls, Pacers, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, and Magic will come to town from December 11th to 21st. This is also the last team to play in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Their five-game trip starts in Denver on January 29.

The Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves have to play six games in six weeks, which is the most in the league. Two were in Games 2 and 3 (against Miami and Atlanta). This season, they have played five more games with a rest edge than games with a disadvantage. The Celtics, Bulls, and Blazers are the other three teams.

The New Orleans Pelicans

The Kings are the other team that won’t play in the Eastern time zone until after Week 7. The Pelicans are one of those teams. On December 13, in Washington, D.C., they will play their first game in Eastern Standard Time. This is unless they are one of the two West teams that doesn’t make it to the In-Season Tournament semifinals and have to play an away interconference game in Week 7.

The New York Knicks

When numbers from last season, location, and rest are taken into account, the Knicks have the toughest first two weeks. They start the season at home against the Celtics. Then, they go on a three-game road trip to Atlanta, New Orleans, and Cleveland. Then they’ll go to Milwaukee and play the Bucks again before coming back home to play the Clippers in their seventh game of the season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder will play 10 straight games against teams that had good records last season from December 14 to January 2. This is shared with Houston’s run from November 4–24 for the longest stretch of games against winners in 22–23. Two of those games were played in Denver on December 16 and 29.

The Orlando Magic

Last season, the Magic went 1-12 in the second game of back-to-backs. That was the worst record of any team in the last six years. Also, along with the Rockets and Lakers, they are one of only three teams in the league that has played five more games with no advantage than games with an edge this season. There are eight games with extra rest; three of them are in the first 14 days of the season, and six are against the West.

The Philadelphia 76ers

Over the next 22 games, from February 12 to March 29, 19 will be against teams that won their division last year. The teams will play three games between those two cities against the Cavaliers and the Knicks.

The Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns - Booker and Durant

The Suns have eight back-to-back games where both games are at home, which is the most in the league. Only five of their first 14 games against teams had good records last year. But by the end of the season, they’ll have played eight straight games against those teams, including two against the Clippers, Wolves, and Pelicans.

The Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers are the only team on more than one road trip with seven or more games. From January 1 to 12, they have a 12-day trip with seven games. From March 25 to April 7, they have a 14-day trip with seven games. The Blazers have to play 12 of their first 19 games on the road, tied with Washington for the most in the first six weeks of the season.

The Sacramento Kings

The Kings have 18 games to go. Seventeen of them are in the Western Conference. That’s the most conference games in the season’s first six weeks (before the canceled Week 7). Three of their four games are against the Warriors, and they also have two against the Rockets, the Lakers, and the Pelicans.

The San Antonio Spurs

There are two homestands of seven games or more that the Spurs have this season. The first is from January 24 to February 3 and lasts for seven games. The second is from March 11 to 25 and lasts for eight games. The usual rodeo trip (nine games) in February falls in the middle of those two homestands. Again, the All-Star break split it in half. Five games (four against the Eastern Conference and one in Dallas) were played before the break, and four games (against the West) were played after.

The Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have had the fewest national TV shows (four) compared to their wins in 2022–23. Three of those four games are on the road and will be shown on NBA TV. Their home game against Chicago on January 18 (TNT) is the only one that won’t be. (The Warriors had the best percentage last season, with 44 wins and 40 national TV games.)

The Utah Jazz

Out of 10 teams, only 3, including the Jazz, Celtics, and Clippers, have three sets of five games in seven nights. Interestingly, the other 7 teams have no back-to-backs. The Jazz’s second game of the season marks the start of their first five-in-seven runs. Additionally, they will be playing against 14 teams in their first 19 games that had winning records last season.

The Washington Wizards

In the first six weeks of the season, the Wizards and the Blazers have played 12-19 games on the road. This is tied for the most road games. But, along with the Bulls, the Mavs, and the Grizzlies, they are one of only four teams with only stranger than fup toll year. Also, from March 17 to April 5, they play 10 of 11 games at home.

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