It feels like we’ve reached the dog days of the NBA schedule. The All-Star break will give teams a chance to gear up for the stretch run later this month, but it has to feel like “Groundhog Day” for a lot of teams. The rhythm and repetition of the schedule can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing, especially with most teams around the 50-game mark.
The schedule is always a factor when handicapping the NBA, and I believe these angles are magnified in the period between Christmas and the All-Star break, so this is a great time to utilize those scheduling angles.
I have five games that fit the bill this week, but I just want to remind readers that these are not sole justifications for a play. They are a way to narrow down the card and serve as a starting point. Sometimes the spots won’t line up properly, for example, if there’s an injury or the game leading into this one turns into a blowout.
Here are the five I have my eye on.
Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are a much better team than their 19-32 record, which is not a scheduling angle. It’s a fact. They are -0.1 in point differential and their Pythagorean winning percentage suggests that they are closer to a .500 team. San Antonio is a team I’m looking to back in general, not just in favorable spots.