The NBA released the 2013-2014 schedule this afternoon, and to be honest, Portland got a decent schedule. The season starts off fairly difficult, when they start with 10 of the first 17 on the road, It’ll even out in the middle, and the end of the season, in which 5 of the last 6 games will be played at the Rose Garden. However, the season will be travel-heavy. By the time the season ends, Portland will have traveled about 50,000 miles, second only to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Portland’s season opener is on the road for the first time in a few years, as they visit the land of the sun and take on the Phoenix Suns on October 30. Their home opener, their third game, against the reigning Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs come to town on November 2.
During the season, Portland will play each Eastern Conference team twice, one meeting at home, and the other on the road. Portland will also play each Western Conference team four times, except for a select few, which Portland will only meet three times. Of the teams Portland will play against four times, two meetings will be at home and two will be on the road.
As I mentioned earlier, Portland plays a few teams just three times. Portland will host the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers twice, and will visit each team just once. However, Portland will play visitor to both the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks twice, but will only host each of the two teams once.
The Blazers longest road trip will be just five games long. They will have two five game road trips this season. The first will put Portland up against the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans Pelicans. The trip will take place between March 7 and March 14. The second five game road trip will have Portland squaring off against the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, and Chicago Bulls. This road trip will be between March 22 and March 28. Getting by with a five game road trip as your longest is a gift, as the Blazers haven’t fared well in seven or eight game road trips.
The team’s longest home stand will last four games. Just as they did with road trips, they will have two of these home stands. The first one will have the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, and Dallas Mavericks all coming to town. This home stand be between the dates of December 2 and December 7. The second home stand will feature the Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Atlanta Hawks, all between the dates of February 26 and March 5.
The Blazers will get to say hello to some former Blazers fairly early in the season. Former Blazer, and 2007 #1 overall draft pick Greg Oden will make his return to the Rose Garden on December 28 as the Miami Heat visit. Also, fan favorite J.J. Hickson will play against the Blazers on January 23 as the Denver Nuggets visit Portland.
Portland’s schedule features 19 back-to-back sets. Of those 19, 10 will have both games on the road. Only one of those 19 will feature both games being played at the Rose Garden. The remaining eight sets will be split into two categories of four. One category has a road game, followed by a home game. The other features the home game before the road game.
How does this fare for the Blazers and their playoff chances? I have to say that Portland will not crack the top six seeds in the Western Conference. They will, however, put up a very good fight for one of the final two spots. Those two spots will not be easy to get, as they will be competing with the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Dallas Mavericks.
For a full schedule, as well as national and local television broadcasting, check out the “Salaries” page here.
What do you guys think of the schedule Portland is slated for? Do you think it is a fair schedule? What seed do you think Portland will be in the Western Conference? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,