Bucks schedule highlights
The 2007-08 NBA schedule was released today, which means that it’s officially acceptable to start getting hyped about the upcoming season (which is now only 90 days away!). Here are some of the obvious highlights:
Wed Oct 31 – Opening night against the new Magic duo of Dwight Howard and ‘Shard Lewis
Sat Nov 3 – Home opener vs Chicago
Fri Nov 9 – Yao vs Yi (or am I being too optimistic?)
Tue Nov 27 – 11 of next 15 games against easy teams - opportunity to break away from the pack
Fri Dec 7 – “What Could Have Been” weekend - first look at Durant followed by Sun Dec 9, first look at Oden
Fri Dec 14 – The newly star-studded Celtics
Fri Jan 4 – Battle of the Bogut vs Etan Thomas
Fri Jan 11 – Bucks’ sole TNT/ABC/ESPN game of the season against Lakers
Yao vs Yi part 2, televised on NBATV
Sat Feb 9 – Easy three game homestand leading up to the allstar break (Knicks, Clippers, Hornets)
Wed Mar 5 – Yet another Durant/Oden back to back
Sat Mar 22 – Home game against Lebron, televised on NBATV
Tue Apr 1 – Fight to the death against the 8th seed hopefuls – Knicks, Wizards, Pacers x2, Nets
The full schedule is available at:
I think it’s convenient to break the season down into the following “trimesters” for sake of analysis:
Opening Night through Christmas – 26 games (12 home, 14 away)
This stretch of the season includes 15 games against lotto teams (Magic x2, Bobcats x2, Grizzlies, Hawks x2, Sixers, Knicks, Clippers, Sonics, Blazers, Kings x2, Wolves), and 11 games against probable playoff teams (Bulls, Raptors, Rockets, Spurs, Cavs x2, Lakers, Mavs, Pistons, Warriors, Celtics). Although there are more away games than home, it’s a pretty nice opportunity to ease into the season against some weak teams.
December 26 through the All-Star Break – 27 games (12 home, 15 away)
This stretch includes 12 games against lotto teams (Wizards x2, Bobcats, Sixers x2, Hawks, Hornets x2, Pacers, Grizzlies, Knicks, Clippers) and 15 games against probable playoff teams (Nuggets, Bulls, Nets x2, Pistons, Heat x2, Lakers, Suns x2, Jazz, Warriors, Raptors, Rockets, Mavs). This is going to be a tough six weeks. The combination of lots of away games and lots of games against playoff teams will tell us all we need to know about what the Bucks are made of.
The end of this stretch of games will roughly coincide with the trade deadline, so if the season isn’t going according to plan, things could get very ugly. With Larry Harris’s lame duck status as General Manager, will he be allowed to make knee-jerk trades that impact the future of the team?
My gut tells me that if Larry Harris is to keep his job, his contract will be renewed at this time, and he will be given the green light to make some small trades that leave the Bucks in good shape for the playoff run. If Larry’s version of the Bucks is clearly headed for the lottery, any number of scenarios could happen. He could simply be handcuffed from making trades as the team limps through the remainder of the season, or he could be fired on the spot so that his successor has an opportunity chance to get started on the rebuild.
In my opinion, the team needs to be on pace for 38 wins (.463) at this point to even bother fighting for the playoffs with the core that Harris has assembled. That’s roughly 25 games at this point. If the team can win that many, it makes sense to try and aquire another veteran for the depth chart and charge onward.
The Playoff Push – 29 games (17 home, 12 away)
This stretch includes 12 games against lotto teams (Pacers x3, Sonics, Blazers, Sixers, Wizards x2, Hawks, Magic, Knicks, Wolves), and 17 games against probable playoff teams (Pistons x2, Nuggets, Cavs x2, Nets x2, Spurs, Jazz, Celtics x3, Heat x2, Bulls x2, Raptors). It’s hard to know whether this is a glass half empty schedule loaded with playoff teams, or a glass half full schedule loaded with home games. Hopefully we’ll know more about how the team performs at home vs on the road, and against good teams vs against bad teams before this time comes.
Should be a great season!