TrashTalk Fantasy League

who has the easiest program? The hardest ?

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Released last week, the complete calendar for the 2022-23 season has already been analyzed long, wide and across by us. But we had not yet had time to ask ourselves about the difficulty surrounding the program of each franchise. It is now done. So let’s waste no time to take a look.

In the NBA, the rules are the same for everyone regarding the schedule. Each team plays 82 games in total. These 82 games are fixed according to a very specific operation: four games against the four opponents of his own division (16 games), four games against six other opponents of his conference (24 games), three games against the four remaining opponents of the same conference (12 games), and two games against each opponent of the other conference (30 games), with in the end 41 games played at home and 41 away. That being said, even if the formula does not change, the difficulty varies from one calendar to another. A team that plays for example in a particularly high division and in the most competitive conference of the two will have a more complicated program compared to other franchises. So obviously, before the start of the NBA season, it is difficult to accurately gauge the difficulty of a schedule, quite simply because the offseason has brought its share of movements among the players (so we cannot really take as based on last season’s balance sheets) and that the analysis is based on predictions for next season. But that did not prevent a certain Ed Küpfer – specialist in the analysis of NBA calendars – from playing the game, based on the following three parameters:

  • record of opponents using Vegas predictions (in number of wins)
  • rest days for the team in question and its opponent at the time of the match
  • match played at home or away

Here are his results.

The more the bar swings to the left, the more difficult the team’s 2022-23 schedule. Conversely, the more the bar tilts to the right, the easier the calendar. According to the Küpfer method, the Thunder have the most complicated program in the NBA, ahead of the Spurs. We imagine that it doesn’t bother Oklahoma City or San Antonio too much since we are talking about two franchises in rebuild mode who would love to nab the first pick of the 2023 NBA Draft and a certain Victor Wembanyama. We also note that the Warriors, Blazers and Wizards have the most balanced schedules in the NBA, while Minnesota, the Clippers and Milwaukee are particularly well off. You will tell us – rightly – that the difficulty of a calendar will necessarily vary as the season progresses. Some teams will indeed be stronger than we could have expected at the time of the predictions, others conversely much weaker, the form of each franchise will not be the same depending on the period, and injuries will obviously put their a grain of salt in all of this. So yes, it’s always to be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, this remains an interesting first indicator for the coming campaign. And if you want to go further, friend Ed has also analyzed the difficulty of each team’s calendar by period of the season. Before Thanksgiving (November 24), before the start of 2023, before and after February’s All-Star Break. The opportunity to see who starts with an “easy” calendar, and who ends his campaign with a program of madness (hello Sixers).

You do what you want with it, but it’s a good basis for having an overview of the calendars as of August 22, 2022. And with the franchise-by-franchise analysis that you can also find on TrashTalk, you now have everything you need. it is necessary to be ready for the start of the school year.

Text source: @EdKupfer

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