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Weekend Back-To-Backs: Southwest Division

There’s no better or deeper division in the NBA than the Southwest, although the Central at least deserves a place in the conversation. (If the Pacers can join the Bulls, Cavs and Bucks in the playoff parade, that discussion will intensify next spring.)

Our survey of weekend back-to-backs has revealed so many fascinating differences between and among teams, both within and beyond divisions. That coexistence of wildly varying schedule components remains in evidence in our study of the Southwest Division. Why is it that some teams get saddled with a lot of weekend back-to-backs, many of them poorly handled, while others receive hardly any weekend back-to-backs?

Here’s our breakdown of the toughest division in the NBA:





Sunday, Dec. 6: at WASH, 6 Eastern

Monday, Dec. 7: at NY

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, Jan. 17 at SAS, 7 Eastern

Monday, Jan. 18 vs. BOS

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, Jan. 31: vs. PHX, 7 Eastern

Monday, Feb. 1: at ATL

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, March 6: at DEN, 5 Eastern

Monday, March 7: vs. LAC

Verdict: properly handled

Sunday, March 27: at SAC, 6 Eastern

Monday, March 28: at DEN

Verdict: properly handled

NOTE: See the explanation attached to a Utah Jazz weekend back-to-back on March 13 and 14 to understand why this is a properly handled back-to-back. The short answer: The 6 p.m. Eastern start time isn’t generally a wise tip-off time in most cases, but for Sacramento, it’s more than fair to visiting teams that are starting a Sunday-Monday back-to-back.

Sunday, April 10: at LAC, 3:30 Eastern

Monday, April 11: at UTAH

Verdict: properly handled



Sunday, Nov. 1: at MIA, 6 Eastern

Monday, Nov. 2: vs. OKC

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, Nov. 29: at NY, 7:30 Eastern

Monday, Nov. 30: at DET

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, Jan. 17: at LAL, 9:30 Eastern

Monday, Jan. 18: at LAC

Verdict: poorly handled, but not as bad as most poorly-handled back-to-backs.

NOTE: The simple reason this weekend back-to-back with a late tip time for the front end is not as bad as others? The back end of the back-to-back is in the same building (Staples Center). If this required any travel for the Rockets, it would be worse, and on par with other poorly-handled back-to-backs on the schedule.

Sunday, Jan. 24: vs. DAL, 3:30 Eastern

Monday, Jan. 25: at NOP

Verdict: properly handled

Saturday, March 5: at CHI, 8:30 Eastern

Sunday, March 6: at TOR, 6:30

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, April 10: vs. LAL, 3:30 Eastern

Monday, April 11: at MIN

Verdict: properly handled




Sunday, Nov. 15: at MIN, 3:30 Eastern

Monday, Nov. 16: vs. OKC

Verdict: properly handled

Sunday, Dec. 13: at MIA, 6 Eastern

Monday, Dec. 14: vs. WASH

Verdict: poorly handled

Saturday, Dec. 26: at CHA, 7 Eastern

Sunday, Dec. 27: vs. LAL, 6

Verdict: poorly handled

Sunday, March 6: vs. PHX, 4 Eastern

Monday, March 7: at CLE

Verdict: properly handled




The Pelicans are the only team in the league with zero weekend back-to-backs this season. New Orleans and (as you’ll see below) San Antonio highlight the imbalances that exist within and beyond divisions in the NBA on the matter of weekend back-to-backs.



The Spurs are the only team with one weekend back-to-back this season, and it comes the first weekend of the season:

Sunday, Nov. 1: at BOS, 3:30 Eastern

Monday, Nov. 2: at NY

Verdict: properly handled



About Matt Zemek

Editor, @TrojansWire | CFB writer since 2001 |