"Our schedule's been ridiculous," Mike D'Antoni said. "It's been ridiculous, and we started by going to China and they've been pulling and they've been pushing, and now we play tomorrow night in Memphis. This is eight in 12 nights, I'm mean that's ridiculous (to) ask of these guys. I could send everybody home and probably should, but I don't believe in that."
While every team and every coach in the NBA complains about this at one point during the season — and D'Antoni admitted as much — it does seem like the Rockets have been on the short end of the stick more often than nought.
"One week Orlando to Toronto, then New York to Miami, I don't know why we couldn't play two in Florida and two up north, but it's like we are flying all over the place," D'Antoni said.
Through the end of January, the Rockets will have travelled 39,470 miles. If you include their trip to China, they will have flown around 54,916 miles, which is more than circling the globe twice.
With the NBA cleaning up four games in five nights, that's not so much of a problem anymore. Now, one of the tougher schedules is three games in four nights and through the end of January, the Rockets will have done that 11 times. The Warriors will have done it eight times.
At the end of the season, everything usually ends up equaling out.
But seriously, schedule makers, is there really a reason the Rockets needed to travel back and forth between the New York and Florida multiple times? No. When you make a road trip, you should be able to hit up all those teams around that area, get it all done at once.
The Rockets’ schedule will get a little easier towards the back end of the year, but right now the games are starting to pile up. As of Saturday night, the Rockets are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most games played in the NBA with 47 games. The Warriors and Spurs have played 43. The Cavaliers have played 42.
Blaming the schedule is an excuse the Rockets won't use — and how could they, considering they have the third-best record in the league — and they won't say they are tired, but with all the flights and all the minutes played, could you blame them for having dead legs every once in a while?