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Why do the Trail Blazers continue to draw a demanding NBA schedule?

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Yesterday, the NBA announced the schedule for the Portland Trail Blazers. Like every year, some of them are prettier than others. But judging by the response in the Blazer’s Edge mailbag, the league’s scheduling office took all the hamsters and guinea pigs out of the Portland schoolchildren, spat them, and fed them to the Lakers’ capped sharks. maybe.

Let’s take one milder example of today’s mailbag question.

Dave,

What is your schedule? We got off to a brutal start and put in a ton of miles. It’s almost like the NBA is trying to make us lose. why does this always happen?

Tom

The first thing we have to admit is that schedules are like referees. You never find someone you think is right for you. You tend to notice flaws in your own schedule earlier than others. It seems unfair to not be the best for your team. That’s probably 50% of the frustration out there.

But we have to admit something. The Blazers are the tip of a donkey’s tail when it comes to NBA scheduling…still a valid and necessary piece, but if anyone were to catch the crap, who do you think it would be?

Geography takes up most of this. Since the Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City, the Blazers have been left on an island in the Pacific Northwest. They have to travel farther and more often than any other franchise.

It can also mess up your settings. The New Orleans Pelicans are in the Western Conference. Portland is 2500 miles from New Orleans. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is nearly 700 miles to NO, and if the Blazers want to play with the Clippers, he’ll have to travel 1000 miles to LA. The Lakers are just across the street.

The NBA can do nothing about this. No matter how they arrange their schedules, Portland will probably move around more than anyone else. One way he needs to mitigate this is by stringing together multiple away games in close proximity to each other.

“Why do we play seven times in a row on the street?” Because flying home between the third and fourth games is worse because you travel 4000 extra miles to rest for the day.

The Blazers also currently face the misfortune of being a small-to-midmarket team with relatively low prestige. I know very little about how schedules are created. I spoke with someone who was in the process once, but that was many years ago.

The Lakers, Knicks, Nets, Warriors, and a few other teams should be sorted out first. People notice when these teams play. No LeBron on Christmas Day makes a bigger difference than no one playing in Sacramento. Venues in major markets are also in high demand for non-NBA purposes. The Lakers and Clippers have to match the schedule. Paul McCartney and Adele will want the arena on a night you’re not using and may actually be pre-booked Quilting his bee’s ground His glam is formidable and worthy of respect But it doesn’t have the same influence in Salt Lake City.

I think the Portland reservation is of relatively low importance. There is a guarantee. No one is going to go on a 20-game trip, have limited streaks, play in Boston on Tuesday and San Francisco on Wednesday. But 30 teams in his arena over eight months and he’s scheduling 41 games means figuring out how to get everyone’s attention and need for coordination somewhere with a pretzel twist. increase. The Blazers will be one of those flex franchises until or until they hit the big time.

My understanding is that when you get down to the last few games, there’s very little human choice involved. So the game will fall where it fits in the current automatic sorting process. Thus, he will face the second best team in a row in the conference in Week 1.

Admittedly, back-to-back in Phoenix looks a lot more brutal than back-to-back in San Antonio. You can twist it. His two games in less than 36 hours against conference powerhouses can be balanced with the old-fashioned view that “his second straight win against the same team is tough.” It depends on how you look at it.

And this is part of the gist. If the Blazers really want to fight, they have to rule the schedule, not let the schedule rule them. Portland’s hills may be steeper than others, but you can still run.

It doesn’t solve the scheduling problem. If the Blazers aren’t going to give up, they’ll have to overcome one way or another. Resilience and preparedness are also required when geographic disadvantage is built into the system. Depending on their schedule, Portland may cost them a game or two each year, but it doesn’t make them non-elite. That’s the goal they should aim for.

Let’s lower the order of 82 as much as possible. The final 16-28 is heavier, putting the Blazers on equal footing.

Thank you for the question! Make sure to send to blazersub@gmail.com.