The NBA has released its full 2015-16 schedule, so head on over here or to your favorite team’s website to micro-analyze it. Below you will find a full listing of the national TV schedule, as well as a tally of the number of times each team appears on national TV. But first, a few observations.

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This is the last year before the insane new television deal the NBA signed last year comes into effect. ESPN (74 games), TNT (53 games), and ABC (16 games) will combined to televise 143 games. Next year, under the new deal, ESPN/ABC will broadcast 100 games, while TNT will show 64.

The NBA schedule-makers have endeavored to reduce the number of back-to-backs and instances of four-games-in-five-nights this season. These scheduling blights contribute to a poorer entertainment product as fatigued players put in a worse performance, fans miss seeing their favorite players as pragmatic coaches simply rest their stars, and possibly result in an increase in injuries. Via the league’s press release announcing the schedule, it seems they’ve done a pretty good job:

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As part of the schedule, the league’s total number of four games in five nights has been cut by more than 60 percent, dropping from 70 such instances in 2014-15 to 27 for 2015-16. In addition, the team average for back-to-back games has been trimmed from 19.3 last season to 17.8 this season.

This season will also likely see an increase in flex scheduling for all networks, ensuring better match-ups. Last year ESPN flexed out of a number of its games (especially ones involving the Knicks), but ABC and TNT were less able to do so as they generally had more exclusive Sunday and Thursday night windows with fewer simultaneous games to flex into. At a glance, it certainly looks like there are more Thursdays with six games on the schedule as opposed to three. Increasing the number of Thursday night games is part of the way the league was able to reduce back-to-backs and four-games-in-five-nights scenarios as well.

The NBA will tip-off a little bit earlier than usual this season, on October 27, with a couple of playoff rematches, including the presenting of the championship rings to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on their home floor:

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  • Cleveland versus Chicago at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
  • New Orleans versus Golden State at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

The league is also back with its traditional high-quality Christmas Day slate of games:

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  • New Orleans versus Miami at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Chicago versus Oklahoma City at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Golden State versus Cleveland at 5 p.m. ET on ABC
  • San Antonio versus Houston at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Los Angeles Clippers versus Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

And here is the full national TV schedule for your perusal:

2015-16 NBA National TV Schedule
DateTeamsNetwork
Oct. 27, 8:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ ChicagoTNT
Oct. 27, 10:30 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ Golden StateTNT
Oct. 28, 8:00 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Oct. 28, 10:30 p.m. ETMinnesota @ L.A. LakersESPN
Oct. 29, 8:00 p.m. ETAtlanta @ New YorkTNT
Oct. 29, 10:30 p.m. ETDallas @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Oct. 30, 7:00 p.m. ETMiami @ ClevelandESPN
Oct. 30, 9:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ HoustonESPN
Nov. 4, 8:00 p.m. ETNew York @ ClevelandESPN
Nov. 4, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ Golden StateESPN
Nov. 5, 8:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ ChicagoTNT
Nov. 5, 10:30 p.m. ETMemphis @ PortlandTNT
Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. ETMiami @ IndianaESPN
Nov. 6, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ SacramentoESPN
Nov. 11, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ DallasESPN
Nov. 11, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ PortlandESPN
Nov. 12, 8:00 p.m. ETGolden State @ MinnesotaTNT
Nov. 12, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ PhoenixTNT
Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Nov. 18, 10:30 p.m. ETChicago @ PhoenixESPN
Nov. 19, 8:00 p.m. ETMilwaukee @ ClevelandTNT
Nov. 19, 10:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Nov. 20, 8:00 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ New OrleansESPN
Nov. 20, 10:30 p.m. ETChicago @ Golden StateESPN
Nov. 24, 8:00 p.m. ETBoston @ AtlantaTNT
Nov. 24, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ Golden StateTNT
Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ MiamiTNT
Dec. 3, 9:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ MemphisTNT
Dec. 4, 7:00 p.m. ETBrooklyn @ New YorkESPN
Dec. 4, 9:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ New OrleansESPN
Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m. ETChicago @ BostonESPN
Dec. 9, 9:30 p.m. ETAtlanta @ DallasESPN
Dec. 10, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ ChicagoTNT
Dec. 10, 10:30 p.m. ETNew York @ SacramentoTNT
Dec. 11, 7:00 p.m. ETMiami @ IndianaESPN
Dec. 11, 9:30 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ San AntonioESPN
Dec. 16, 8:00 p.m. ETMemphis @ ChicagoESPN
Dec. 16, 10:30 p.m. ETMilwaukee @ L.A. ClippersESPN
Dec. 17, 8:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ ClevelandTNT
Dec. 17, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ L.A. LakersTNT
Dec. 18, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ San AntonioESPN
Dec. 18, 10:30 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ PhoenixESPN
Dec. 25, 12:00 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ MiamiESPN
Dec. 25, 2:30 p.m. ETChicago @ Oklahoma CityABC
Dec. 25, 5:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ Golden StateABC
Dec. 25, 8:00 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ HoustonESPN
Dec. 25, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ L.A. LakersESPN
Jan. 6, 7:00 p.m. ETNew York @ MiamiESPN
Jan. 6, 9:30 p.m. ETMemphis @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Jan. 7, 8:00 p.m. ETBoston @ ChicagoTNT
Jan. 7, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ SacramentoTNT
Jan. 8, 8:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ MinnesotaESPN
Jan. 8, 10:30 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ L.A. LakersESPN
Jan. 13, 8:00 p.m. ETIndiana @ BostonESPN
Jan. 13, 10:30 p.m. ETMiami @ L.A. ClippersESPN
Jan. 14, 8:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ San AntonioTNT
Jan. 14, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ Golden StateTNT
Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m. ETMinnesota @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Jan. 15, 9:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ HoustonESPN
Jan. 18, 2:30 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ MemphisESPN
Jan. 18, 8:00 p.m. ETGolden State @ ClevelandTNT
Jan. 18, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Jan. 20, 8:00 p.m. ETGolden State @ ChicagoESPN
Jan. 20, 10:30 p.m. ETAtlanta @ PortlandESPN
Jan. 21, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ ClevelandTNT
Jan. 21, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ PhoenixTNT
Jan. 22, 8:00 p.m. ETMiami @ TorontoESPN
Jan. 22, 10:30 p.m. ETIndiana @ Golden StateESPN
Jan. 23, 8:30 p.m. ETChicago @ ClevelandABC
Jan. 27, 8:00 p.m. ETHouston @ San AntonioESPN
Jan. 27, 10:30 p.m. ETDallas @ Golden StateESPN
Jan. 28, 8:00 p.m. ETNew York @ TorontoTNT
Jan. 28, 10:30 p.m. ETChicago @ L.A. LakersTNT
Jan. 30, 8:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ ClevelandABC
Jan. 31, 3:30 p.m. ETChicago @ L.A. ClippersABC
Feb. 3, 8:00 p.m. ETGolden State @ WashingtonESPN
Feb. 3, 10:30 p.m. ETMinnesota @ L.A. ClippersESPN
Feb. 4, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ New OrleansTNT
Feb. 4, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ PhoenixTNT
Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m. ETIndiana @ AtlantaESPN
Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ DallasESPN
Feb. 6, 9:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ Golden StateESPN
Feb. 7, 2:00 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ MiamiABC
Feb. 9, 8:00 p.m. ETWashington @ New YorkTNT
Feb. 9, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ Golden StateTNT
Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ ClevelandESPN
Feb. 10, 10:30 p.m. ETHouston @ PortlandESPN
Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ Oklahoma CityTNT
Feb. 18, 8:00 p.m. ETChicago @ ClevelandTNT
Feb. 18, 8:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ New OrleansTNT
Feb. 18, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Feb. 18, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ UtahTNT
Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m. ETIndiana @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Feb. 19, 10:30 p.m. ETBoston @ UtahESPN
Feb. 20, 8:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ L.A. ClippersABC
Feb. 21, 3:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ Oklahoma CityABC
Feb. 21, 8:00 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ ChicagoESPN
Feb. 24, 8:00 p.m. ETWashington @ ChicagoESPN
Feb. 24, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ SacramentoESPN
Feb. 26, 8:00 p.m. ETChicago @ AtlantaESPN
Feb. 26, 10:30 p.m. ETMemphis @ L.A. LakersESPN
Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ Oklahoma CityABC
Mar. 2, 8:00 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ HoustonESPN
Mar. 2, 10:30 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ L.A. ClippersESPN
Mar. 3, 8:00 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ New OrleansTNT
Mar. 3, 10:30 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ Golden StateTNT
Mar. 4, 8:00 p.m. ETWashington @ ClevelandESPN
Mar. 4, 10:30 p.m. ETAtlanta @ L.A. LakersESPN
Mar. 5, 8:30 p.m. ETHouston @ ChicagoABC
Mar. 6, 3:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ L.A. LakersABC
Mar. 9, 7:00 p.m. ETMiami @ MilwaukeeESPN
Mar. 9, 9:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ Oklahoma CityESPN
Mar. 10, 8:00 p.m. ETChicago @ San AntonioTNT
Mar. 10, 10:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ L.A. LakersTNT
Mar. 12, 8:30 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ San AntonioABC
Mar. 13, 3:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ L.A. ClippersABC
Mar. 14, 8:00 p.m. ETMemphis @ HoustonESPN
Mar. 14, 10:30 p.m. ETNew Orleans @ Golden StateESPN
Mar. 16, 7:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ BostonESPN
Mar. 16, 9:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ HoustonESPN
Mar. 19, 8:30 p.m. ETGolden State @ San AntonioABC
Mar. 22, 8:00 p.m. ETHouston @ Oklahoma CityTNT
Mar. 22, 10:30 p.m. ETMemphis @ L.A. LakersTNT
Mar. 23, 8:00 p.m. ETMilwaukee @ ClevelandESPN
Mar. 23, 10:30 p.m. ETDallas @ PortlandESPN
Mar. 29, 8:00 p.m. ETHouston @ ClevelandTNT
Mar. 29, 10:30 p.m. ETWashington @ Golden StateTNT
Mar. 31, 7:00 p.m. ETChicago @ HoustonTNT
Mar. 31, 9:30 p.m. ETL.A. Clippers @ Oklahoma CityTNT
Apr. 1, 8:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ AtlantaESPN
Apr. 1, 10:30 p.m. ETBoston @ Golden StateESPN
Apr. 3, 3:30 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ HoustonABC
Apr. 5, 8:00 p.m. ETChicago @ MemphisTNT
Apr. 5, 10:30 p.m. ETL.A. Lakers @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Apr. 6, 7:00 p.m. ETCleveland @ IndianaESPN
Apr. 6, 9:30 p.m. ETHouston @ DallasESPN
Apr. 7, 8:00 p.m. ETChicago @ MiamiTNT
Apr. 7, 10:30 p.m. ETSan Antonio @ Golden StateTNT
Apr. 9, 8:30 p.m. ETCleveland @ ChicagoABC
Apr. 12, 8:00 p.m. ETOklahoma City @ San AntonioTNT
Apr. 12, 10:30 p.m. ETMemphis @ L.A. ClippersTNT
Apr. 13, 8:00 p.m. ETOrlando @ CharlotteESPN
Apr. 13, 10:30 p.m. ETUtah @ L.A. LakersESPN

Every year when the schedule comes out, the first thing I do is look at how many national TV appearances each team gets. This year NBA finalists Cleveland and Golden State will each appear on national TV the maximum 25 times, while good and/or entertaining teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma, Chicago, and San Antonio will all appear over 20 times.

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A pleasant surprise this year is that the NBA has finally figured out that nobody wants to watch a dogshit New York Knicks teams, and have only given them seven games. The other bad large-market team that always gets a ton of games, the Los Angeles Lakers, will be shown 19 times, but admittedly there are fewer West Coast teams to play in the 10:30 p.m. ET national TV slots. The bottom of the list is rounded out by Detroit, Denver, and Philadelphia, none of whom will be seen on national TV this season.

While the NBA has certainly improved in regards to the Knicks, every year the league does its fans and itself a disservice by catering to established teams at the expense of the up-and-coming. Toronto, a solid playoff squad (in the East) whose profile is increasing as basketball in Canada blows up even more, will only be on TV twice. The highly-exciting Utah Jazz, who look to be in a tight race for a playoff spot, will only be on TV three times. The Milwaukee Bucks, quite possibly the second best team in the East, will only be on TV four times. It would lead to lower ratings in the short-term—and it’s unclear how much sway the networks have over who gets placed on the schedule—but the league should give a few more appearances to the teams near the bottom of this list.

Total Number of National TV Appearances

  • Cleveland Cavaliers – 25
  • Golden State Warriors – 25
  • Los Angeles Clippers – 24
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – 24
  • Chicago Bulls – 23
  • San Antonio Spurs – 21
  • Houston Rockets – 19
  • Los Angeles Lakers – 19
  • New Orleans Pelicans – 13
  • Miami Heat – 11
  • Memphis Grizzlies – 10
  • Atlanta Hawks – 8
  • Boston Celtics – 7
  • Indiana Pacers – 7
  • Dallas Mavericks – 7
  • New York Knicks – 7
  • Minnesota Timberwolves – 5
  • Phoenix Suns – 5
  • Portland Trail Blazers – 5
  • Washington Wizards – 5
  • Milwaukee Bucks – 4
  • Sacramento Kings – 4
  • Utah Jazz – 3
  • Toronto Raptors – 2
  • Brooklyn Nets – 1
  • Charlotte Hornets – 1
  • Orlando Magic – 1
  • Denver Nuggets – 0
  • Detroit Pistons – 0
  • Philadelphia 76ers – 0


E-mail or gchat the author: kevin.draper@deadspin.com | PGP key + fingerprint | Photo via Getty