So the NBA released the full schedule for the 2011-2012 season, so since they’re pretending we’re going to play the full 82 game schedule, so will I.
The San Antonio Spurs (full schedule here)are slated for 20 nationally televised games (NBATV included). That includes 10 ESPN games, four TNT games and six NBATV games. The team opens up the season Wednesday, November 2nd by welcoming the Milwaukee Bucks to town. What’s significant about this game, is it will be the Spurs first of two attempts to flip flop the jerseys Richard Jefferson and Stephen Jackson are wearing to see if anyone will notice. Bogut, Blair, catch the excitement!
That’s clearly just a warm up to the Friday, November 4 game. The Spurs welcome the Dallas Mavericks, who had a pretty good June or something. Then they hit the road, where they play the Lakers on ESPN November 9 and Portland November 10 on TNT. Nice early road test. They also are home against The Thunder (Nov. 21, NBA TV) and at Chicago (Nov. 30, NBA TV). That Nov. 21 matchup against OKC is the first of three matchups in a month’s time.
There are some pretty good games in December, but the one that is probably most important for most fans is the December 26 match up at against Memphis in San Antonio. This game will be televised on NBATV. A couple of weeks later the Spurs travel to Conseco Fieldhouse to face George Hill and the rest of the Indiana Pacers (Jan. 11). The NBA’s NWO, the Miami Heat come to town February 1 and you can check that one out on ESPN (they go to South Beach Jan. 17).
This season’s Rodeo Road Trip may be the easiest one yet. There is only one back to back (Utah, then Portland) and they play only four teams that finished last season with a plus .500 record. They start off Monday, Feb. 6 in Washington, then play Philadelphia, Toronto and Detroit before heading to Memphis. Again no back to backs, so you’re looking at realistically starting 4-1 or 5-0. Then they get a nice long break before taking on the Blakers aka Clippers in L.A., Jazz, Blazers and finishing out the trip in Denver (Feb. 23, TNT). The back endof the trip is always tougher, but we’re not looking at any teams that even made it out of the first round of the playoffs last season.
If anyone cares, the Knicks come to town Wednesday, March 7. So you get a chance to see Amar’e Stoudamire score a lot of points and not help his team win. The Celtics come to town March 25 (ESPN) and then go to Boston April 4.
A fun back to back takes us out of March and into April. George Hill returns to San Antonio as a Pacer on March 30 and the Spurs welcome the Grizzlies to town on April Fool’s Day (always a great day to play Zach Randolph). April also sees the Spurs play the Lakers twice in six days (April 11 and April 17).
There are 12 back to backs scheduled, but really we should only look at this schedule as a rough draft because everything could change if the lockout lasts past mid-September.
Any thoughts? Which game are you most excited about? Is it Indiana George’s return? The Heatles coming to town? Lakers? Mavs?