Thursday, August 7, 2008

2008/2009 Schedule or Stu Jackson Strikes Again!

Well, the NBA released the 2008/2009 schedule yesterday. You can view the Grizzlies schedule in its entirety right here. I'm not gonna lie to you -- this year's schedule is best described as tough. Taking a note from something we did on the Grizzlies Fan Boards, I'm going to look at the season in 7-game increments, just like if it was set up into playoff series.

Set 1
Oct 29 (Wed) @ Houston
Oct 31 (Fri) vs Orlando
Nov 01 (Sat) @ Chicago
Nov 03 (Mon) vs Golden State
Nov 05 (Wed) @ Sacramento
Nov 07 (Fri) @ Golden State
Nov 09 (Sun) @ Denver

That's 3 games against playoff teams, 2 games against a team that just missed the playoffs in the West, 1 game against a team that should have made the playoffs and 1 game against the rebuilding Kings. Yikes! Not to mention that only 2 of the 7 are at home. Only one back-to-back though, so that's a positive.

Set 2
Nov 10 (Mon) @ Phoenix
Nov 12 (Wed) vs New York
Nov 14 (Fri) vs Milwaukee
Nov 18 (Tue) vs Sacramento
Nov 21 (Fri) @ Dallas
Nov 22 (Sat) vs Utah
Nov 24 (Mon) vs San Antonio

Start off with the second game of a back-to-back against the Suns, but then play 3 very winnable home games before a tough back-to-back against the Mavs and Jazz, and then finishing up against the methodically deadly Spurs. The home/away situation flips to 5-2 for this set, which should help.

Set 3
Nov 26 (Wed) @ Utah
Nov 28 (Fri) @ San Antonio
Nov 29 (Sat) vs Oklahoma City
Dec 03 (Wed) @ Atlanta
Dec 05 (Fri) vs LA Clippers
Dec 06 (Sat) @ New Orleans
Dec 08 (Mon) vs Houston

Starting off on the road against the Jazz and Spurs is not exactly what I was looking for as a Thanksgiving bonus. But the next two are eminently winnable against the young, raw roster from OKC (when are they gonna get a new name already?) and the turmoil that is the Hawks. I'm still not sure what to make of the Clippers, but their proposed frontcourt of Kaman/Camby/Thornton is sure to be trouble for Memphis. Then they finish it off with talented division foes in the Hornets and Rockets. That is a tough stretch of games, with two more back-to-backs thrown in for good measure.

Set 4
Dec 10 (Wed) @ Oklahoma City
Dec 12 (Fri) vs Chicago
Dec 14 (Sun) vs Miami
Dec 16 (Tue) vs New Orleans
Dec 19 (Fri) vs Charlotte
Dec 22 (Mon) vs LA Lakers
Dec 23 (Tue) @ Dallas

Five straight home games sandwiched by two road games is a nice treat. Playing in OKC will be difficult, as they have proven to be a very boisterous group. Then 3 of the next 4 against the Bulls, Heat and Bobcats should be winnable though. The Hornets, Lakers and Mavs will be tough, although I expect the return of Pau to provide the crowd with some extra energy. Just one back-to-back (with travel), but against two very serious opponents.

Set 5
Dec 26 (Fri) vs Indiana
Dec 27 (Sat) @ San Antonio
Dec 29 (Mon) @ Minnesota
Dec 30 (Tue) vs Phoenix
Jan 02 (Fri) vs San Antonio
Jan 04 (Sun) vs Dallas
Jan 06 (Tue) vs Minnesota

Nothing like coming off the Christmas holiday to face 4 games in 5 days. Sheesh! Two of those four should be winnable, with the Pacers and T'Wolves in the viewfinder. Then they have two more games against divisional foes in the Spurs and Mavs before a 2nd game against the evenly talented squad from up north that sees Mike Miller return to Memphis. Oh yeah, they'll be bringing Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins with them too.

Set 6
Jan 07 (Wed) @ New Jersey
Jan 09 (Fri) @ Toronto
Jan 13 (Tue) vs Cleveland
Jan 16 (Fri) vs Utah
Jan 19 (Mon) vs Detroit
Jan 21 (Wed) @ Charlotte
Jan 23 (Fri) @ New York

Start off with the second game of a back-to-back by traveling to the swamps of New Jersey in what should be a winnable game. The next 4 games don't look too promising though, as they face playoff teams in every one of them, including the Pistons in the MLK Day game, the Grizzlies only appearance on national television. They do get a bit of a reprieve in facing the Bobcats and rebuilding Knicks to finish it off, though.

Set 7
Jan 24 (Sat) vs New Jersey
Jan 27 (Tue) vs Denver
Jan 28 (Wed) @ Oklahoma City
Jan 31 (Sat) vs LA Lakers
Feb 02 (Mon) @ Washington
Feb 04 (Wed) vs Houston
Feb 06 (Fri) vs LA Clippers

They return from NYC to complete a back-to-back against the Nets to get thing started in this set. While Denver is certainly a question mark, they are still a dangerous team. Then they return to the raucous crowd in OKC to complete another back-to-back in what is sure to be a difficult game. The next three are against playoff caliber teams before finishing it off against the mercurial Clip Joint. Another set where 5 of the 7 games are at home, which should help as they head towards the All-Star break.

Set 8
Feb 07 (Sat) vs Toronto
Feb 09 (Mon) vs New Orleans
Feb 11 (Wed) @ Philadelphia
All-Star Break
Feb 17 (Tue) @ Utah
Feb 18 (Wed) @ Portland
Feb 20 (Fri) vs Sacramento
Feb 24 (Tue) @ Cleveland

Although the All-Star break should provide a welcome rest to most of our players, the simple fact is that 6 of these 7 games are against probable playoff teams this year (if Portland makes the leap that everyone is expecting), which is an unfortunate reality.

Set 9
Feb 25 (Wed) @ Indiana
Feb 28 (Sat) vs Oklahoma City
Mar 03 (Tue) @ LA Lakers
Mar 04 (Wed) @ LA Clippers
Mar 07 (Sat) vs Philadelphia
Mar 08 (Sun) @ Houston
Mar 11 (Wed) @ Minnesota

Counting the game against the Pacers as one, this set has 3 back-to-backs in it. That's just brutal, no matter how you slice it. The only positive to take from that is that 4 of the 7 games should be seen as winnable. Unfortunately, only one of those 4 is at home.

Set 10
Mar 13 (Fri) @ Boston
Mar 15 (Sun) @ Detroit
Mar 16 (Mon) vs Portland
Mar 18 (Wed) vs Denver
Mar 20 (Fri) @ New Orleans
Mar 21 (Sat) vs Boston
Mar 23 (Mon) @ Miami

Any time a set includes 3 games against the two teams from last year's Eastern Conference Finals, you know that you're in for some punishment. Throw in games against Portland, Denver and New Orleans and it looks downright bleak. When you start looking forward to facing a team with two All-Stars and one of the best collegiate players of recent history when Miami shows up on the schedule, you know it's been a rough patch. Having only 4 games in the month of March will do that to you.

Set 11
Mar 27 (Fri) @ Sacramento
Mar 28 (Sat) @ Portland
Mar 30 (Mon) @ Golden State
Apr 01 (Wed) vs Washington
Apr 03 (Fri) vs Dallas
Apr 04 (Sat) @ Milwaukee
Apr 07 (Tue) vs Portland

Nothing like a West Coast road trip with a back-to-back to finish off the dreadful month of March. Throw in another 3 games against likely playoff teams and suddenly Milwaukee looks like a nice place to visit, despite what Gilbert Arenas says about it.

Set 12 (5 games)
Apr 08 (Wed) @ Orlando
Apr 10 (Fri) vs Phoenix
Apr 12 (Sun) @ LA Lakers
Apr 13 (Mon) @ Phoenix
Apr 15 (Wed) vs Atlanta

To finish off the season, they get 5 playoff teams from last year. Have I mentioned yet that Stu Jackson absolutely hates the Grizzlies? If nothing else, I have hope that they'll be able to beat the Hawks in the season finale at home.

So that's the schedule. I have heard some fans talk of the team winning 35 games this season. I'm as much of a fan as anyone, but if this team figures out how to win 13 games more than last season with that schedule, then I'll show up to next year's Tip-Off Luncheon looking like one of these guys:

I've also heard some people say that they won't even reach the 22 victories they have managed to win the past two seasons. While I'm not quite that pessimistic, with this schedule and the amount of young, inexperienced players on the roster, as well as the fact that there will be a substantial amount of shuffling to figure out the allotment of minutes for everyone, I could see that being an unfortunate reality. I think that somewhere between 20-26 wins is a realistic expectation at this point, but I'll be rooting for them to win every single game, just like every year.

BallHype: hype it up!


Acehigh718 said...

Stu Jackson doesn't hate us... he just wants us to be in the running for Ricky Rubio and Blake Griffin next season :D

(hah, yeah right)

zack said...

stu jackson might hate the Griz, but he loves Zack...

opening night @ Houston...with me sitting right next to the Griz bench, just waiting to throw a beer at Artest....

blogging from enemy territory start at Game 1...thanks Stu...I couldn't have planned it better...

chesterfoster1980 said...

Well, talking about Stu Jackson I've heard he has been in a lot of controversies. And one of my favorite quote from his statement after he was confronted about being the one who brought the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise down is "IT'S NOT MY FAULT!". So fame Stu Jackson. lol Terra Verde Resort orlando

Aina Siao said...

Everybody has time for NBA. I really enjoy watching NBA games. Well about Stu Jackson I don't have much to tell about this guy. Does he really hate Grizzlies? Oh! Too bad. Lake Buena Vista Holiday Inn

Dindo said...

Great post I must say. Simple but yet interesting and engaging. Keep up the awesome work! paint melbourne

chesterfoster1980 said...

Well, I used to play basketball and I loved to watched basketball games most of all the eminent NBA games. And I am not fan of Grizzlies though. Lake Buena Vista Hotels

charmosflores said...

Unintentionally, I made a searched last week about NBA players and I dropped at the page which talks about the top unwanted players in NBA and Stu Jackson is on the list. I am still on the lookout why. Terra Verde Resort orlando

rebeccatozer said...

Frankly speaking I am quite frightened by the blue faces when I first saw it. Anyway, thanks for sharing the sched I am having my own study for the all-time best player among them. Thanks once again! Hyper Facebook Traffic

johnmackay said...

Well, I don't really like Stu Jackson although he's a god player. I hope he could play much better. Thanks for the share, anyway. Extreme NO

Jim Philips said...

Host Pay Per Head did something similar for the last game but to pain their face like that it is quite hard.