Well, you have no doubt heard. The schedule is out. And, like any truncated timetable of a schedule, this is a doozy.
January is a killer. There is 12 road games and 5 home games. All the home games are imminently winnable with New Orleans (without Chris Paul no less), Milwaukee, Orlando, Indiana and Denver coming in.
Jan 3rd, 4th and 5th is the first back to back to back. (That’s @ Memphis, @ Denver and home vs Milwaukee.)
That, strangely enough, is the only b2b2b for the Kings. The Kings however have 16 set of b2b’s, and multiple 4 game in 5 night type sets. There are no long stretches of days off. The longest stretch is a 2 day stretch in between January 28th and January 31st. The only other multi day stretch throughout the season is the All-Star break.
In the same way that the schedule taketh away, the schedule giveth too. March has 9 straight home games (at one point), and a total of 12 home games for the month (vs 6 road and all in the Western Conference).
Overall, not to inundate you with a bunch of nonsense (I want to keep this brief for so many reasons and then some), but the schedule is reasonably fair. I’m surprised the Kings didn’t draw 3 of the b2b2b’s, but then again it’s also possible that due to the mostly open nature of Arco II (I refuse to call it Power Balance Pavilion anymore) and the scheduling that the Kings were able to get more home games within blocks than other teams. That does help after all.
The post All-Star schedule is much kinder than it is pre All-Star break. (TZ @ Sactown Royalty notes this too.) For a young team with lots of new potential faces by the time the season starts, in many ways this is not a bad thing. You can go on the road, learn each other, and do what you can. There will be many teaching moments for all the players learning each other games. I don’t know what the Western Conference picture looks like, and I suspect none of us really will know until rosters shake out and we know how they look like. I stand by my assertion that this Kings team has the potential with the right roster moves in Free Agency (or trades during this period) to make the playoffs and perhaps even be a .550 or even peeking near a .600 team. Heady stuff right? It all revolves around Tyreke Evans staying healthy. I bring this up to point out that for a screwy schedule, this is as favorable it will get when you are the Kings.
In the meantime, be happy that we have a NBA season (albeit an ugly season).
There are, today, 9 National TV dates with 8 of them on NBATV. The other appearance is on TNT February 9th vs Oklahoma City.
The 8 NBA TV dates are:
Dec Mon 26 vs LA Lakers
Jan Sat 28 @ Utah
Feb Sat 11 vs Phoenix
Mar Fri 09 vs Dallas
Mar Sun 11 vs Atlanta
Mar Sat 24 @ Golden State
Mar Sat 31 vs New Jersey
Apr Sun 08 vs Houston
I think this is it.