Monday, December 18, 2006

Genius Schedule for Jazz

How much influence do individual teams have on setting their schedule? For the past three months I've heard the Pacers complaining about starting out the season with 13 of their first 19 games on the road. Was that actually by choice? It is nice to have those roadies out of the way now. I ask because I always assumed teams didn't have much input on their schedule, other than working around shared venue logistics.

Mark Boyle on the Pacers radio broadcast today mentioned how the Jazz are starting their annual road trip the week before Christmas. He and Slick went on to discuss how it started back with Frank Layden and continued with Jerry Sloan. The idea is that the week before Christmas is crazy at home. Lots of family obligations with shopping, holiday gatherings, and school performances. All of this added stress takes a toll on a player's focus, so if they are on the road they don't have to deal with it and can focus solely on playing games.

Sure enough, I went back and looked at the past six seasons and the Jazz were on the road during the week leading up to Christmas, getting home just in time to celebrate Christmas Day with the family. Almost every year, the first game following Christmas Day is at home, too.

Wouldn't every team want to do this? Maybe some teams haven't thought about it but it seems like the Jazz are getting over nicely with this little scheduling quirk. If anyone can give me some info on how the NBA schedules games I'd be quite interested.

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