Detroit Bad Boys
The NBA just released the official schedule for the 2019-20 season. Already articles from OTG, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and many others have released enticing works on the best matchups of the coming season.
Plenty of information is available on such story lines as the Christmas slate of games, and which team has to travel the longest distance during their campaign. There’s importance in knowing when the first time the new look Los Angeles team’s duke it out against each other, or when Kyrie and the Nets square off against the Celtics, or when Russell Westbrook makes an emotional return to Oklahoma City.
However, for all the incredible contests fit within the mathematical beauty of the NBA schedule. There are without a doubt some absolute snoozers.
John-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a French novelist from the 18th century, has a sentiment that I think sums it up nicely — “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses” — and I’m choosing to complain about the thorns in this one.
7. Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets: October 23rd
It’s a little harsh to put the opening game of the season for both these clubs on the list of seven worst games of the year, but the contest is so clearly the worst matchup from the opening two days of the NBA season — it deserves a spot.
The game is also in Charlotte, which is now home to a fan base who just lost their beloved best player in Kemba Walker, and then wildly overpaid for Terry Rozier. Rozier will struggle, the Hornets will lose an ugly game to the Bulls, and Michael Jordan will smile a few times on the jumbotron.
I’m guessing it is the least watched game of the season opening.
6. Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks X2: March 14 + March 21
The worst part of the NBA season is the 75% mark. In between the All-Star break and playoffs, with most teams already locked into their final season standing spots and injured players all over the place. The grind of the 82-game campaign is felt no more than during this stretch.
It’s also in the middle of March Madness, which completely dominates the NBA.
During this exact stretch we have the Mavericks and Suns facing off against each other twice. Both teams have gotten better, but neither of them will pull themselves out of the bottom of the Western Conference. The two games will mean almost nothing. Maybe Devin Booker will score 87 points and Luka Doncic will throw a lob to Porzingis.
5. Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons: March 17 (NBA TV)
Games televised on national TV fall under more scrutiny than the rest of the NBA schedule. The twitter world moans about having to watch a lower tier matchup, Charles Barkley or whoever in God’s name does the NBA TV games makes a joke about having to talk about a bad team, and no one besides the team’s fan bases are happy.
Well that is what we have here with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons matching up in March. Both teams will most likely be dealing with injury so late into the NBA season, and I just don’t know how many people are going to tune in to watch Jonathon Isaac take on Reggie Jackson.
4. New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards: February 12
I don’t care what anyone else says, it seems like the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards play each other 17 times every season. The two basketball clubs were among the very bottom of the NBA last season and it is looking like it should be a similar situation for the upcoming season.
The February 12 date was selected because this same matchup might actually mean something in the last couple weeks of the season, as the two teams jockey for the better draft pick. However, in February, this game couldn’t be more inconsequential. Watching R.J Barrett go against Rui Hachimura, or Bradley Beal score 50 points are your best bets here.
3. Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers: December 23rd (NBA TV)
Getting the chance to play on Christmas Day in the NBA is incredible. Having to play in one of the last two matchups before Christmas Day sucks. The NBA has chosen to make the Raptors the last team playing before Christmas and then the first team playing on the actual holiday.
People won’t be thinking about basketball on December 23, and I don’t think many will tune in to NBA TV to watch the strong, but relatively boring matchup between the Raptors and Pacers.
2. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets: April 15
The last day of the NBA season for most teams this year falls on April 15, or better known in the United States — Tax Day. Spirits will be low, moods will be quickly combative, and nobody is going to want to watch the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Houston Rockets in a most likely meaningless last game of the season.
The Grizzlies at this point will be long out of playoff contention, starting a collection of G-League and lesser-known players. On the other hand, the Rockets will most likely be resting Harden and Westbrook, before heading into the fierce Western Conference playoffs.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards: November 12 (ESPN)
There is no excuse for this game to be on ESPN this early in the season. The Cavs and the Wizards are on track to battle it out for the worst team in the league, and why they would ever be scheduled to play against each other on national TV is totally beyond me.
It’s the worst game in the whole damn schedule.