Steve Alexander

NBA Schedule Breakdown

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Plan for your playoff leagues

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Here is a column that was featured in the Draft Guide to offer pre-draft strategy for owners. It should come in handy when analyzing trades and roster moves if your league uses weekly lineup deadlines. Enjoy.

Analyzing the NBA schedule is actually fun for me, as I like gathering as many 4-game weeks as I can when I set my lineups each week. In playoff leagues, looking at the schedule for each player from weeks 21-24 is also quite useful, as you can put together a team on draft day that could help you dominate in the playoffs with the right planning. Make sure you figure out your league's exact playoff periods before just assuming the ones I used will fit your situation. I planned on commentary for each team, but the column is already too long, so just the pertinent facts about each team's schedule are included.

I will breakdown each team's first-half schedule, second-half schedule, playoff schedule and overall number of 2-game weeks (as well as 1-game weeks, if applicable). I'll then give each team a grade for its 1st half, second half and entire schedule, as well as the playoff schedule. The 1st half and 2nd half Grades may not add up to the team's entire schedule grade, because that's based largely on total number of 4-game weeks. Use the first-half/second-half data when considering trades during the season. Trading for an Atlanta Hawk in January makes sense, as their early schedule is awful, while you will want to think about unloading a Magic player after Week 11. Also, be sure to check to see exactly when your playoff period is, as well as when your season ends.

It's also important to keep the number of games played in mind early in the year when your team is struggling. If you own Hawks, Celtics, Clippers, Spurs, Kings or Wizards, you're team may not be performing at the level you expected. But there's a good chance that it's directly related to their lack of games in the first half of the season.

There's only one 5-game week this year and it belongs to the Bucks. It comes in Week 13, so it will have no playoff implications. Dallas also managed to get a 3-game week for the All-Star Break, so owners of Mavs will have a distinct advantage that week, as other teams play just once or twice.

And if you're thinking of drafting Elton Brand (who's out indefinitely), the Clippers' schedule features 4-game weeks in nine of the final 11 full weeks of the season, including weeks 21, 22 and 23. If Brand comes back around the All-Star Break, his schedule will rock for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, along with guys like Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman.

I generally ignored the All-Star Break Week and Week 25, except under the "2-game week" category if they play just one game that week.

I didn't award an 'F' for any team's entire schedule because the teams that only have nine 4-game weeks don't have any 2-game weeks, either.

This year's schedule doesn't look like it includes as many glaring differences as some in the past, but when you consider Kobe Bryant has four more 4-game weeks on his schedule than Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Martin, Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups, it's intriguing. Of course, Kobe also has his share of 2-game weeks, while those other guys never play twice during a regular week.

Full Season and Fantasy Playoffs Schedule Breakdown

13 4-Game Weeks

1. Lakers

Weeks 1-12 = five 4-game weeks, three 2-game weeks
Weeks 13-24= eight 4-game weeks, zero 2-game weeks
Playoffs = 4-4-3-4
2-Game Weeks = Week 2, 10 and 12 – 1-game week 25

Grades

1st Half – C+
2nd Half – A-
Entire Season – A
Playoffs - B

12 4-Game Weeks

2. Clippers

Weeks 1-12 = three 4-game weeks, three 2-game weeks
Weeks 13-24 = nine 4-game weeks, zero 2-game weeks
Playoffs = 4-4-4-3
2-Game Weeks = Week 1, 9 and 11

Grades

1st Half – D-
2nd Half – A+
Entire Season – B+
Playoffs – B+

3. Knicks

Weeks 1-12 = six 4-game weeks, two 2-game weeks
Weeks 13-24 = six 4-game week, zero 2-game weeks
Playoffs = 3-4-4-3
2-Game Weeks = Week 1 and 9. 1-game week for All-Star Break

Grades

1st Half - B
2nd Half – C+
Entire Season - B+
Playoffs - C

4. Sonics

Weeks 1-12 = five 4-game weeks, one 2-game week
Weeks 13-24 = 7 4-game weeks, zero 2-game weeks
Playoffs = 3-4-3-4
2-Game Weeks = Week 6. 1-game week at All-Star Break and Week 25

Grades

1st Half – C+
2nd Half – B-
Entire Season – B+
Playoffs - C

11 4-Game Weeks

5. Hawks

Weeks 1-12 = three 4-game weeks, two 2-game weeks
Weeks 13-24 = seven 4-game weeks, zero 2-game weeks
Playoffs = 3-4-4-3
2-Game Weeks = Week 1 and 9

Grades

1st Half – D
2nd Half – B+
Entire Season - C
Playoffs – C

6. Celtics

Weeks 1-12 = three 4-game weeks, one 2-game week
Weeks 13-24 = eight 4-game weeks, one 2-game week
Playoffs = 4-4-3-4
2-Game Weeks = Week 1 and 14

Grades

1st Half – D+
2nd Half – B+
Entire Season - C
Playoffs – B


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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