The NBA’s second-half schedule is sweet music to the Jazz

Donovan Mitchell and Jazz have a lot to look forward in NBA’s second half.
Donovan Mitchell and Jazz have a lot to look forward in NBA’s second half.
Illustration: Eric Barrow (AP)

The NBA announced the remainder of their regular-season schedule this afternoon, highlighting that the regular season will end on May 16, roughly one month after its usual completion in a non-pandemic climate.

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Notables in the schedule include a return to action for the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks on March 10, who will compete in the league’s first games after their March 7 All-Star Game. Most other NBA clubs will resume play on the following evening. On the final day of the season, all 30 NBA teams are scheduled to play, but times and nationally-televised games are to be determined. (The league will also have around 30 cancellations to account for.)

The Los Angeles Lakers lead all NBA teams with 21 nationally-televised games left in their regular season between TNT, ABC, ESPN, and NBA TV. The Brooklyn Nets (20), Golden State Warriors (18), Los Angeles Clippers (17), Boston Celtics (16), Milwaukee Bucks (15), Dallas Mavericks (14), Philadelphia 76ers (13), Denver Nuggets (13), Utah Jazz (11), Portland Trail Blazers (9), and Phoenix Suns (8) are other notables who follow suit.

Despite the Jazz having the NBA’s best-record at 25-6, the team with two All-Stars will see fewer nationally-televised games than nine other NBA teams, including five in their own conference. Of the Jazz’s 11 remaining games, only one game is on TNT, with five each on ESPN and NBA TV. It’s a stark contrast to even the Mavericks who are 9.5 games behind them in the standings, but have 14 nationally-televised games the rest of the way, eight of which will be non NBA-TV featured (and even includes one on ABC).

But for Utah, there’s this. The Jazz have the easiest schedule in the second half according to ESPN.

Highlight games in the near future include Nets vs. Celtics on TNT on March 11, which is expected to be the first match-up between a healthy Kyrie Irving and a healthy Kemba Walker since the 2019 off-season fallout. The Lakers and Clippers will engage in a battle for Los Angeles on April 4 on ABC, and by then, the expectation is that Anthony Davis will be have been playing. For some inexplicable reason, and maybe it’s based around the return of Jarrett Allen (a great guy, though!) to Brooklyn, but the Nets will end their hard-fought championship chasing campaign against … the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Clippers will be on the road against … Oklahoma City? Could the revenge of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander not take place during a playoff race?

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Also of note is that the 7-10 seeds in the NBA standings will participate in the Play-In Tournament for the final two playoff spots in each conference immediately following the season. The Play-In will run from May 18-21, with the playoffs beginning on May 22.

That means, if you really want to not over-exert yourself, you better get your ass in the Top 6.