The official NBA schedule release isn't until this evening. But according to the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro, the Phoenix Suns will have scheduling quirks that could have both basketball and financial implications.
Due to the shortened season, there will be teams that the Suns only play once in the Eastern Conference. In a basketball sense, not having to endure visits from the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers would seem like a good thing. That's six playoff teams that the Suns will only have to play once on the road.
But the team's pocketbook won't have the same reaction. Missing those games means missing out on visits from Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and the always intriguing return of Amar'e Stoudemire. All those players are big draws and none of them will be making a visit to play the Suns.
The Suns will open the season with a home game against the New Orleans Hornets, followed by a Dec. 28th trip to Philadelphia before facing the Hornets and the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road on Dec. 30 and 31. The Bright Side of the Sun also pointed out their feelings about some of the scheduling quirks.
"Here are a few of the biggest challenges I see the Suns facing based on this schedule. First, like every NBA season, the Suns will play some back-to-back games, but, this season it happens 17 times. Not only that, they also have two stretches where they will play three games in a row (Feb. 13, 14, 15 and March 14,15,16)...and in both cases the Suns will have to travel between both home and away games during these stretches. Another potential pitfall of the schedule is that the Suns will face every eastern powerhouse team (Heat, Celtics, Bulls, Magic, Knicks) in an away game...doesn't exactly seem fair."
Every team will have scheduling quirks due to the short season. But hopefully for the Suns, they didn't get the even shorter end of the stick.
For the entire Phoenix Suns schedule, go here.