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Warriors have hardest strength of schedule next year; Celtics have easiest

The NBA works hard at making  the most balanced schedule of the four major sports. This year the league opted to use new computer software this year to optimize, and maximize the schedule efficiency as much as possible.

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle ran the new 2016-17 schedule through a simulator, to take tavel, rest, and all factors of an 82 season grind into consideration, to predict what team will have the hardest schedule of the year.

Based on his model, he was able to calculate which teams will have the five toughest and five easiest schedules.

Celtics 3.34
Jazz 3.29
Raptors 3.10
Trail Blazers 2.85
Hawks 2.75

The Boston Celtics had the best results, playing in the Atlantic Division, and having at least twelve games against the Nets, Sixers, and Knicks, the Celtics and Raptors, should increase their win total from last season, and possibly a higher seed in the playoffs barring injury.

This also takes into account distance of travel and how frequently that travel time is.

The schedule should also help a retooled Utah Jazz team who improved its roster this summer, and increases their hopes of getting back into the playoffs, which would go a long way in convincing Gordon Hayward to stay in Salt Lake City.

The simulated model also exposed the league’s bottom teams, and those who have the worst chances of gaining more wins than last season, adding to their loss column.

Nets 5.32
76ers 5.07
Suns 4.69
Lakers 4.37
Warriors 4.28

The Golden State Warriors are the anomaly team here who just lost a few pieces to a team that won a historic 73 games, and played in the NBA Finals, but signed one of the NBA’s best players in Kevin Durant. The Warriors will have the second most miles traveled in the league behind the Portland Trailblazers in the 2016-2017 season.

Chances are, they will not win 73 games again, which is why it has only been done once, but we will see them pace themselves throughout the season, and end the season with a lesser record, albeit not by much.

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