The NBA will finally get back to business on July 30 and the league decided to broadcast a special revealing the remaining eight-game schedule of each team in the restart. Some teams were luckier than others as the teams play to get into the playoffs.
Here’s who won and lost in the new schedule release.
The Sixers, currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, have the second-easiest schedule remaining. Philly opens with Indiana and then plays five straight teams with a sub-.500 record. Add in the return of star Ben Simmons and a healthy Joel Embiid and you have the makings of a potential title run.
Only two teams have easier schedules than Boston and the Celtics are just three games behind second-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors have the second-most difficult remaining schedule.
Boston would love a 2-7 matchup that would likely pit them against Brooklyn. The Celtics will have a chance to make up a whole game and then some in their final four contests – Toronto, Orlando, Memphis, and Washington.
Speaking of Memphis, the Grizzlies currently hold the No. 8 seed in the West. They have the fourth most difficult remaining schedule. The Grizzlies will face Milwaukee in their final game. If the Bucks have the top seed in the East wrapped up, maybe starters like reigning MVP Giannis Antetokoumpo will not play.
Memphis has a 3.5-game lead over the New Orleans, Portland, and Sacramento. Even if they do finish ninth, the Grizzlies will still have an opportunity to win the eighth seed. Surely, they would rather win it outright.
New Orleans: WINNER
One of the teams attempting to overtake Memphis is the Pelicans. New Orleans lucked out and got the easiest remaining schedule. The combined winning percentage of their final eight opponents is below .500. They are the only remaining team with such a schedule.
That will give Rookie of the Year candidate Zion Williamson a strong chance at finishing eighth or ninth and qualifying for the play-in tournament.
The Raptors drew the second-toughest schedule. They will play the top seed in both conferences and six of eight against teams with a winning record. A seventh game is against Memphis, which will be fighting for their postseason lives.