THE second half of the NBA schedule will be hectic, all the way to the end.
The league on Wednesday, Feb. 24, released the list of games that will be played between March 10 and May 16, with Memphis and San Antonio — two of the teams that dealt with long unplanned shutdowns because of coronavirus-related issues — set to play 40 times apiece, tied for the most in the league during the 68-day sprint to the end of the regular season.
And every team is scheduled to play on the final day of the regular season, a rarity. The 15 games on May 16 will mark the first time that every NBA team plays on the same day since Nov. 25, 2016 — and the first time all have done so on the final day of the regular season since April 16, 2014.
The season reopens following the All-Star break on March 10 when Washington visits Memphis and San Antonio goes to Dallas.
Most of the league resumes on March 11, with 21 teams playing their second-half openers that night, and the remaining five — Denver, Cleveland, Utah, Indiana and the Los Angeles Lakers — get back to game action on March 12.
That means the Cavaliers, Lakers and Jazz, all of whom end their first-half schedules on March 3, get the longest All-Star breaks in the league at nine days apiece. Washington, Memphis and San Antonio get the shortest breaks, all six days.
Teams will finish the season averaging about 15 back-to-backs, about three more per team than was the case last season but still well below the norm before the league made players rest a scheduling priority and changed its methods three years ago.
There are only two instances of teams having four games in five days in the season’s second half, both toward the very end.
Memphis had one of the dreaded four-in-fives during the first half and is in line for another between May 11 and May 15, at home against New Orleans, Dallas
and twice against Sacramento. San Antonio will end the season with a run of four games in five days — the first two at Brooklyn and New York on May 12 and 13, followed by finales at home against Phoenix on May 15 and 16. (AP)