Do you like these back-to-back, home-and-home series? I hope someone does, because I don’t. Meant to inject a bit of drama and hostility, I guess, in the sometimes dull season, I find this conceit of the NBA’s mostly annoying.
I think they do what they’re supposed to do to an extent, because I find myself disliking the Detroit Pistons, a team about whom I otherwise have almost no feelings. Mostly though I think it presents odd advantages and disadvantages that I’m not sure “come out in the wash”.
For example, if your team gets a schedule with an opponent that typically crumbles due to injury by December on the home-and-home in November, then you’ve played at a disadvantage because your team faced a stacked schedule of that opponent at full strength, whereas other teams face a weaker version later on.
Yes, I specifically mean Memphis and the Clippers. But given Blake Griffin’s injury history it could well mean Detroit, too. In theory this is evenhanded, and would affect all teams more or less the same, over time. But over time means years in this case, and if you have the bad luck of drawing the mid-season-crumblers early on every year, that doesn’t help much now.
Anyhow, it appears here to stay, so here’s a gamethread.