Photo credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell
- On Monday afternoon, the NBA released the 2019-20 regular season schedule.
- Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) dissected the schedule and gives his main takeaways, including which win totals have value after the release.
Breaking news for you: The NBA announced the 2019-20 regular season schedule Monday, and it turns out all 30 teams play 82 games. Shockwaves, I tell you. Shockwaves.
However, for all the “I bet they play 41 at home, 41 away” jokes that pop up, schedules are not created equal. You don’t play every team the same amount as everyone else, and when you play them and where matters a lot in determining how a season goes. Schedules also have a sizable impact on win total over/unders, which often have narrow margins to begin with.
Here’s a look at key takeaways after the release of the 2019-20 NBA regular season schedule.
A CLIPPED BEGINNING
Here’s the good news for the Clippers. Before December 1, they play 21 games, 13 of which are at home in the friendly confines of Staples Center. They travel the sixth-fewest miles in that time. They also play the most games with rest advantage, defined as having one more day between games than their opponent.
So they’ll be in good fatigue condition for the onslaught headed their way.
Bear in mind that Paul George does not have a timeline for his return from surgery on both shoulders. It’s been speculated he could be out until mid-November at least. Meanwhile, starting off the year without George, the Clippers face the fifth-toughest schedule in October and November, followed by the 11th-toughest schedule in December (by Vegas win totals).
That stretch includes games vs. the Lakers (which makes their home game essentially a road game), Warriors, Jazz (2X), Spurs (2X), Bucks, Blazers, Raptors, Rockets (2X), Pelicans (2X) and Celtics… all before December 1.
The over/under for the Clippers is as high as 56.5 at some places. They have two new stars who fundamentally reshape the roster, along with the rest of a team that made the playoffs but really played together for only about six weeks after the deadline trades.
The value on the under was already significant. A rough start when they are without George only reinforces that.