There's been much schedule talk to start this NBA season. Too much. Lots of people complaining about the Lakers starting with 17-21 at home. Lately, some Laker supporters (myself included) have countered that home/road doesn't matter as much as playing decent teams, and the Lakers, despite having the best record in the league, also sport the 3rd highest Strength of Schedule in the league currently, which is pretty incredible if only from a numerical standpoint. Nearly every time the Lakers play somebody, that team ends up with a loss, and yet the Lakers opponent's winning pct is well above .500, so the Lakers' opponents so far this season must be beating everybody else.
Regardless, the Lakers' schedule debate has already been played out, and I certainly don't want to get into another round of the same argument. Anybody looking to see if the Lakers will be able to continue their success away from home no longer needs to wait. The corresponding road-heavy portion of the schedule, made necessary by the home-heavy early schedule (or vice-versa, nobody really knows), has arrived. After tonight's final curtain call, the Lakers play 19 of 28 on the road, which will bring their Home/Away split to 25/21, well within acceptable limits of normalcy.
But in reviewing the Lakers schedule, I noticed something weird about the next 9 games. 8 of the next 9 games will be back-to-back situations.
Before anyone cries foul, let me point out that it's not nearly as bad a thing as it sounds. The Lakers are not playing 9 games in 12 days or anything crazy like that. There are three sets of back to back games, all in a row, followed by a single game, followed by another back-to back set. But each consecutive back to back is spaced out with two days off in between the games. So, overall, this 9 game stretch will be played at an average of a game every other day, well within what is considered normal. So ... why not just play the games every other day?
This isn't a good thing. It's not a bad thing. The Lakers don't have a lot more back to backs than other teams. In terms of back to backs, the Lakers are actually just slightly below average. And since the back-to-backs are spread out fairly, I don't really see how one could call it a negative. I also don't see how anybody could call it a positive. It's just ... quirky. Like Zoey Deschanel or toe socks. Yet another strange schedule development in what is becoming a season filled with them. So thanks, NBA, for keeping us Laker fans on our toes with weird schedule developments that will probably end up being irrelevant.