BKN, HOU, IND, PHO, SAS, TOR
Teams with 12 games:
BOS, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAC, WAS
Teams with 11 games:
CHI, GSW, MEM, NOR, POR, UTA
Teams with 10 games:
Teams with two-game weeks:
- The first two weeks of this playoff setup are pretty straight forward. The only teams that play four games in both the first and second round are the Nets, Pacers, and Suns. The four teams that do not play four games in either week are the Hawks, Mavericks, Bulls, Warriors, and Pelicans.
- The Hawks and Mavericks have the worst overall schedules. Their Week 25 and 26 schedules are especially brutal. The Grizzlies, Jazz, and Blazers also have poor championship week schedules. The best championship week schedules belong to the Rockets, Spurs, and Raptors.
- The potential first-round picks with the best schedules in this setup are Kyrie Irving and James Harden. The potential first-round players with the least amount of games on their schedule are Damian Lillard, Rudy Gobert, and Steph Curry.
Week 23 Analysis
You can see Week 23’s full schedule here.
- The Sixers have a four-game week that includes back-to-back games against the Bulls and the Suns. Joel Embiid feels like a lock to miss at least one of those games. It’s possible he sits out both. Given the weak competition, a night off for Al Horford is possible as well. You’ll more than likely get four games out of Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Josh Richardson.
- The Clippers also have a scary back-to-back set against the Pistons and Hornets. Kawhi Leonard won’t play against the Hornets. He may not play against the Pistons either. There were some back-to-back sets last year where Kawhi sat out both games. He also sat two non-back-to-back games in Week 24 last season. Paul George could also get a night off against the Hornets. To make matters worse, the Clippers also play the Knicks during Week 23. Load management is the worst.
- Bradley Beal and the Wizards have a back-to-back set late in Week 23. Given that this week takes place at the end of the March, a rest day for Beal makes a lot of sense.
Week 24 Analysis
You can see Week 24’s full schedule here.
- There are only seven back-to-back sets in Week 24. That is great news as teams will be looking for excuses to sit their veterans and the schedule takes one away. Don’t get too comfortable though. Week 24 takes place in April and that usually leads to shenanigans.
- There are 11 games on Friday and 14 games on Sunday. When you are planning your team, take a look at your schedule on these days before drafting. It should not be a deal-breaker for any players but it is something to keep on eye on. Losing games to overload can turn a strong fantasy schedule into a mediocre one.
- The Clippers, Mavericks, and Sixers do not have any back-to-back sets in Week 24. That doesn’t mean that Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, and Kristaps Porzingis are in the clear, but it helps.
Week 25 & 26 Analysis
You can see Week 25 & 26’s full schedule here.
- Week 25 doesn’t start until Tuesday. The NBA will take the Monday night off to get out of the way of the National Championship game.
- Tuesday and Saturday of Week 25 and Monday and Wednesday of Week 26 are very busy days. I wouldn’t worry too much about overload though. Last-minute sits are inevitable at this point in the season so having some overloaded days can actually work in your favor.
- If you play in a head-to-head league that goes until the final day of the season, I assume you are either a masochist or play in a league with a less-than-stellar commissioner. If you are stuck in a league that finishes late, then you should assign extra value to players on teams that are likely to have something to play for during the final week of the season. I’m talking about the Heat, Magic, and Pacers of the world. If your league goes to the buzzer, I would be hesitant to draft players from the Sixers and the Bucks. Those two teams do not have any competition for the top-two spots in the East, and if one team pulls away before the final stretch, there could be lots of sits for those teams’ stars. The Western Conference teams are slightly safer due to the conference being more balanced and not having a clear favorite.
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