The Utah Jazz will find out their schedule this week but what are the concerns surrounding it?
According to multiple outlets, like Sports Illustrated, the NBA league schedule is rumored to drop this week, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Unlike the MLB and NFL, the NBA schedule doesn’t come with the same questions of “who are we playing”, in the NBA every team plays every team.
In the NFL, you’re only playing about half, if not slightly less than half, of the league every year. So we’re not waiting to find out if the Utah Jazz are taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Denver Nuggets this year; the answer is yes. They are.
But a schedule comes with a series of unfortunate realities, namely, travel. Travel and rest are the two biggest concerns the teams in the NBA have, and everyone gets railroaded eventually in the season. But we wanted to go through and hyper-focus on three specific things that we’re going to be looking out for.
How many back-to-backs will they have?
It’s fair to say that modern NBA players are not accustomed to hard times, in an era of advanced medical care and private travel, NBA players are as catered and pampered as possible. So it’s not surprising that so many of them hate playing games back-to-back. When this happens, you usually see some guys sitting out for one reason or another (usually load management) and while the Jazz may not have those types of players, it’s still something to keep an eye out for.
Will they have any “murders rows”?
Sports got a cool nickname when the 1920s-era New York Yankees were dubbed the Murder’s Row because they had one big bat after another in the lineup. This is also a term that we use to describe stretches of a team facing the best in the league in consecutive or near consecutive games. If the Jazz has to face the Nuggets, Heat, Kings, Grizzlies, Cavs, and Knicks in five straight games, that’s going to be a rough go of it.
Cross-country travel on quick turnarounds
One of the grievances I do get, and side with the players when a team has to fly across multiple timezones to play a game, and then fly back to play another game in a short turnaround. It’s usually never back-to-backs, but sometimes it’s within a day or two of one another and that type of travel does take a lot out of you.