NBA Schedule

And-Ones: Kerr, Schofield, Lopez, Harrell, Play-In, McClung, Harrison

Would less be more? When it comes to the NBA schedule, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes so. He’d like to see the NBA cut its regular season from 82 games to 72, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. That would encourage coaches to play their regulars more often, instead of giving them nights off, particularly as the season winds down.

What makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72-game schedule,” Kerr said. “Take 10 games off and get more time to rest in between games. I think you’ll get buy-in from the teams to play their guys more often.”

We have more tidbits from around the basketball world:

  • Magic forward Admiral Schofield was fined $20K, while Magic center Robin Lopez and Hornets center Montrezl Harrell were fined $15K for their roles in an on-court altercation on Thursday, the NBA announced (Twitter link). All three were ejected during the fourth-quarter scuffle (video link).
  • Commissioner Adam Silver likes the way the play-in tournament has encouraged teams on the playoff bubble to remain competitive but might tweak it in future years, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets. Executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics Evan Wasch suggested the league would consider a scenario where the ninth- and 10th-place finishers in each conference would have to win a certain number of games to qualify for the play-in.
  • Guard Mac McClung was named NBA G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.6 PPG and 7.6 APG for the South Bay Lakers, the league tweets. The Lakers rewarded McClung with a two-way contract on Saturday.
  • Free agent guard Shaquille Harrison has been named G League Defensive Player of the Year, according to a league press release. Harrison averaged 1.93 steals per game for the Delaware Blue Coats.

NBA Reschedules 11 Postponed Games

The NBA has announced the rescheduling of the 11 games postponed in December due to COVID-19 issues, listing the changes in a press release.

Additionally, eight other scheduled games have been shifted to accommodate the postponements. A pair of others have been shifted to new starting times.

Most notably, Kyle Lowry‘s return to Toronto will take place two days earlier than anticipated, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN points out.

The Raptors will now host the Bulls on February 3 instead of the Heat. Lowry’s return will occur on Feb. 1 in Miami’s rescheduled visit. The game that Toronto was originally scheduled to play that day against the Hawks will now be played on January 31.

The first two makeups will occur next week — the Nets at the Trail Blazers on Monday, January 10 and the Pistons at the Bulls on Tues, Jan. 11.

“There’s no easy way to do this,” Nets coach Steve Nash said to Bontemps and other media members. “If we were expecting it to be a sweet little add to the schedule, and no blood drawn, that would be foolish.”

The other rescheduled dates are as follows:

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers
    • Previous: Dec. 19
    • New: Jan. 25
  • Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets
    • Previous: Dec. 19
    • New: Jan. 26
  • Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls
    • Previous: Dec. 22
    • New: Jan. 26
  • Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors
    • Previous: Dec. 16
    • New: Feb. 3
  • Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
    • Previous: Dec. 29
    • New: Feb. 3
  • Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets
    • Previous: Dec. 21
    • New: Feb. 17
  • Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors
    • Previous: Dec. 20
    • New: March 4
  • Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets
    • Previous: Dec. 30
    • New: March 7
  • Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks
    • Previous: Dec. 19
    • New: March 31

And-Ones: 2023 World Cup, Offseason Grades, M. Miller

The draw for the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers took place on Tuesday. According to a press release from FIBA, Team USA’s qualifying group in the Americas event will include Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place in November 2021. During the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA fielded a team made up of G League standouts, since those events overlapped with the NBA season. That roster made up of NBAGL vets put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games, so I’d expect a similar approach this time around.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a pair of Insider-only stories for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton handed out offseason grades for all the teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The Hawks and Wizards were the two teams to earn an A, while the Cavaliers and Pelicans were the only two to receive a D.
  • Former Raptors forward Malcolm Miller has signed with Italian team Vanoli Cremona for the 2021/22 season, the club announced in a press release. Miller appeared in 53 total games across three seasons with Toronto from 2017-20 and was a member of the championship squad in 2019.
  • Although the NBA’s 2021/22 schedule will still include some MLB-style two-game sets between the same teams in the same arena, there will be just 23 of them this season, compared to 84 in 2020/21, writes Marc Stein (subscription required). As Stein explains, not playing in front of fans last season – along with a desire to reduce travel – made those sets a logical addition to the schedule, but the league was less motivated to include them this time around.

2021/22 NBA Schedules By Team

The schedule for the 2021/22 NBA regular season was officially unveiled by the league on Friday. As expected, the regular season will begin on October 19 and conclude on April 10.

The NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season will feature 75 “Classic Matchups” over the course of the year.

For instance, the contest between the Knicks and Raptors on November 1 will mark the 75-year anniversary of the NBA’s first-ever regular season game between the Knicks and the Toronto Huskies on November 1, 1946. More of those Classic Matchups are highlighted within the NBA’s official press release.

The NBA also confirmed several previously-reported marquee matchups, including its five-game Christmas Day slate and an opening night doubleheader of Nets at Bucks and Warriors at Lakers.

Listed below are links to the full 2021/22 season schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division. The team-by-team schedules for ’21/22 can also be viewed in a single document right here.


EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division

And-Ones: Mudiay, Vonleh, Griggs, Schedule

Free agent guard Emmanuel Mudiay will likely sign with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania if he doesn’t receive an NBA offer before training camps open, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews. Mudiay is currently playing for the Trail Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League.

After five years in the NBA, the 25-year-old sat out all of last season. He received offers to play in the G League and in Europe, according to Urbonas, but turned them down in hopes of catching on with an NBA team.

Mudiay was taken by the Nuggets with the seventh pick in the 2015 draft and spent two and a half seasons in Denver before being traded to the Knicks. After a year and a half in New York, he signed with the Jazz as a free agent in 2019. Mudiay averaged 7.3 points and 2.1 assists per game as a backup during his lone season in Utah.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent big man Noah Vonleh is getting interest from some NBA teams, but is considering offers in Europe and China as well, according to Sportando (Twitter link). The 25-year-old spent two weeks with the Nets in February and appeared in four games before being waived.
  • Highly-recruited high school guard Bryce Griggs has signed with Overtime Elite, the league announced in a press release. The 17-year-old out of Missouri City, Texas, will join the new league when it begins play next month. “Bryce Griggs is a player that has been recognized as one the nation’s most promising playmaking guards and we are thrilled to welcome him to the OTE family,” said Brandon Williams, OTE’s executive vice president and head of basketball operations. “Bryce has had one of the best coaches and mentors in John Lucas, and has been attracted to the combination of an NBA caliber coaching staff, sports science, performance and nutrition focuses that will play a crucial role in his development into an NBA player.”
  • The NBA will release its schedule for the 2021/22 season in the 7-10 days, tweets Marc Stein of Substack. Celtics writer Steve Bulpett hears that Friday is the target date (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Ignite, Key Dates, Two-Way Rules, NBA Africa

With Brian Shaw poised to join the Clippers as an assistant coach on Tyronn Lue‘s staff, the G League Ignite have a head coaching vacancy. And according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the program has identified a candidate to fill that vacancy.

USC associate head coach Jason Hart will be the new head coach of the G League Ignite, sources tell Wojnarowski.

Hart has been a member of the Trojans’ staff since 2013 and has been the club’s associate head coach for the last four seasons, having worked in recent years with players like Onyeka Okongwu and De’Anthony Melton. Hart is a former NBA player himself, appearing in 341 regular season games between 2000-10 for a total of nine teams.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • As expected, the NBA is officially implementing new rules to reduce the use of non-basketball moves to draw fouls, as Shams Charania of The Athletic details in a series of tweets.
  • The NBA has announced a series of key dates for the 2021/22 league year, including a regular season that will run from October 19 through April 10. The 2022 NBA draft will be held on June 23, as the league’s annual calendar gets back to normal.
  • Although players on two-way contracts will have a 50-game limit for next season, teams carrying 14 (or fewer) players on their roster will be limited to 90 total games for their pair of two-way players, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The rule, outlined in a memo from the NBA, sounds aimed at reducing the ability of teams to save money (and cap space) by leaning heavily on their two-way players while not carrying a 15th man.
  • Former U.S. president Barack Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner and a minority stakeholder. Marc J. Spears of ESPN has the story.
  • The NBA G League announced on Tuesday that the Santa Cruz Warriors have been named Franchise of the Year for 2020/21, while Erie BayHawks president Matt Bresee earned Team Executive of the Year honors.

2021/22 NBA Regular Season To Begin On October 19

The NBA’s 2021/22 regular season will tip off on October 19, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania, the league sent a memo to teams today to inform of that date and several others, confirming that the annual calendar will return to normal next season.

Per Charania, some of the other key dates are as follows:

  • September 28, 2021: Training camps begin
  • April 16, 2022: Playoffs begin
  • June 2, 2022: NBA Finals begin
  • June 19, 2022: Last possible date for NBA Finals (Game 7)
  • June 23, 2022: NBA draft

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in a disruption to the NBA’s usual schedule, leading to a shortened offseason in both 2020 and 2021. There was some talk last year about the possibility of the league embracing the change and moving its calendar back by a couple months on a permanent basis, but that talk quickly subsided, particularly when TV ratings were down for last year’s playoffs, which took place in the summer.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes noted this week that a decision was collectively made by the NBA, the players’ union, and the league’s TV network partners to get the annual schedule back to normal as quickly as possible rather than doing so slowly over the course of a few years. Today’s memo to teams confirms that will happen in 2021/22.

And-Ones: Barea, Schedule, COVID-19, Future Rankings

Due to family-related commitments, veteran guard J.J. Barea had to leave Spanish club Estudiantes before the team’s season formally ends, he announced on Instagram (hat tip to Sportando). Barea signed back in January to spent the season in Spain after being waived by Dallas in December.

Reports earlier this year indicated that Barea’s contract with Estudiantes included an NBA out and that he remained “determined” to make it back to the NBA. Teams technically have until Sunday to sign free agents, and Barea would be postseason-eligible if he returns, but there has been no indication so far that an NBA club intends to sign him.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:

  • The NBA has formally announced the start times for its Saturday and Sunday games. There was reportedly some consideration given to having all of Sunday’s games start around the same time in the afternoon to avoid last-minute tanking, but logistical concerns – including those related to COVID testing – prevented that from happening. Most of Sunday’s games will tip off in the evening.
  • The NBA and NBPA announced on Wednesday that only one of the 497 players tested for COVID-19 since May 5 returned a new confirmed positive test. That’s an encouraging result with the playoffs around the corner — it’s the lowest weekly total among players since April 7-14.
  • Speaking of the playoffs and COVID-19, the NBA is still weighing how to handle positive tests in the postseason to avoid the risk of potential spread, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, who says the league has discussed the possibility of delaying postseason games if necessary.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) have updated their future power rankings, which rank the NBA’s teams based on their projected success for the next three seasons beyond 2020/21. The Nets and Clippers sit atop the list, with the Knicks moving all the way up from No. 27 to No. 7. The Cavaliers continue to hold the bottom spot, while the Timberwolves have slipped to No. 29.

NBA Reveals Second-Half Schedule For 2020/21

The NBA has officially unveiled its schedule for the second half of the 2020/21 regular season, which will get underway on March 10 and will run through May 16. The regular season will be followed by a play-in tournament from May 18-21, with the postseason getting underway on May 22.

The league intentionally put off finalizing the second-half schedule until now in order to account for the many postponements that have occurred during the first half due to the coronavirus and a weather-related emergency in Texas. A total of 33 games originally scheduled for the first half had to be postponed, though two of those contests were incorporated into the later part of the first-half schedule.

The plan for now is for all 30 teams to play a full 72-game schedule, which means the teams hit hardest by postponements in the first half will face a rigorous second-half slate. The Grizzlies, for instance, have to make up six first-half games and are scheduled to play 40 games in 68 days in the second half, including 11 back-to-back sets.

The full day-by-day schedule for the second half can be found right here.

Listed below are links to the rest-of-season 2020/21 schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division

NBA Aims To Hold Vegas Summer League In August

The NBA is working toward holding its annual Las Vegas Summer League sometime in early- or mid-August in 2021, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. The league is still figuring out all the specifics, sources tell ESPN.

The NBA was forced to scrap its 2020 Summer League in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus pandemic — the league was ramping up for its summer restart at Walt Disney World in July at the time the Vegas Summer League would typically have taken place.

The 2020/21 season is scheduled to end about a month later than usual, with the playoffs set to run through mid-July. As such, it makes sense that the NBA would also push back its Summer League dates by about a month. It’s safe to assume there will be a number of strict health and safety restrictions in place for the event, even if the pandemic outlook has improved by the summer.

Within their report, Wojnarowski and Lowe also provide some details on the NBA’s second-half schedule, noting that teams expect to see a draft version either this weekend or sometime next week.

According to Woj and Lowe, the plan for now is to have all 30 teams play a full 72-game slate, even if that requires more back-to-back sets down the stretch for the clubs that have to make up several postponements from the first half.

However, the NBA has acknowledged that if more games have to be postponed during the second half, there’s a chance not every team will be able to play 72 games, per ESPN’s duo. That admission suggests that the possibility of pushing back the start and end of the postseason isn’t currently on the table.