Atlanta takes a trip that has the Hawks going north, then south, then north, then west, then east, then west and then home again, all in the span of nine days. Cleveland has a nine-game February homestand. San Antonio goes nearly four weeks without a home game. The Kings close the first half of their schedule with 20 of 28 away from Sacramento, daunting for a team desperate to keep fans engaged while trying to get a new arena. Denver plays nine in a row at home in one stretch, then immediately hits the road for seven straight…

The Wolves don’t host Atlanta, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Orlando, Toronto and Washington, teams that perhaps don’t inspire the casual fan to run down on game night to check them out, but could be winnable games. They also don’t travel to Boston, Chicago, Miami or New York. From a competitive standpoint, not having to play those teams on the road is great for the Wolves. But from a player experience standpoint, the Wolves don’t sound thrilled…

Not only will every team have at least one stretch of playing three games in three nights, but there will also be times when teams play eight games in 11 days. If a key player rolls an ankle, certainly a common issue in the NBA, at a particularly busy time in the schedule, a team could find itself without a key player for maybe 20 percent of the season. And with all those games in such a short span, this much is guaranteed: There will be nights when some teams will know the odds are stacked very, very highly against them, when they’re the weary-legged club against a team that’s had a couple of days off to freshen up.

– Reported by the Associated Press