Sonics 2006-07 Schedule Analysis
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Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM | August 1, 2006
The Seattle SuperSonics announced their 2006-07 schedule on Tuesday. SUPERSONICS.COM breaks down the difficulty of the schedule and the key matchups that will keep us enthralled throughout the fall, winter and spring. Let's start with a month-by-month breakdown:

2006-07 Schedule Breakdown
Month
Home
Away
Total
Back-to-Backs
November 8 8 16 3
December 8 8 16 4
January 8 6 14 4
February 5 6 11 2.5
March 8 7 15 3.5
April 4 6 10 3

No month looms as particularly brutal or favorable for the Sonics, though the team will be at home much of January. During that month, the Sonics travel early and late and will have a season-long seven-game homestand during the middle of the month, getting to sleep in their own beds for nearly three weeks.

Sonics Back-to-Backs
Year
Back-to-Backs
2006-07
20
2005-06
17
2004-05
19
2003-04
22
2002-03
20
2001-02
22

In terms of back-to-backs - 20 in all - this year's schedule is much less favorable than last year's (17), but about average overall as compared to recent years (see chart at right). Last season, the Sonics struggled with back-to-back sets, but surprisingly more on the first game(4-13) than on the back end (6-11).

There will not be any particularly onerous road trips for the Sonics, who travel for five games in both November and December and play a four-game trip in March, accounting for most of their road games. Last year, the Sonics had a six-game trip in the month of November and were on the road for six straight games around the All-Star break.

Seattle will play most frequently on Wednesday (19) and Friday (18). The Sonics have just six games scheduled on Monday and two on Thursday all season long - both of the latter nationally televised on TNT. The Sonics will also appear on ESPN three times and NBA TV at least thrice.

The current NBA schedule sees the Sonics play just three games against four other West teams. Houston and Phoenix visit KeyArena just once apiece, while the Sonics will make but a single trip to Memphis and Sacramento.


LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visit KeyArena on Jan. 16.
Jeff Reinking/NBAE/Getty
The Sonics kick off the year with Portland at KeyArena in a matchup that features plenty of Seattle ties. The Trail Blazers, coached by former Sonics Coach Nate McMillan, added Seattle native and UW product Brandon Roy in this year's Draft to go along with Seattle Prep product Martell Webster, in his second NBA season. After that, it's a home-and-home set with the L.A. Lakers and star guard Kobe Bryant. The Sonics will play at the STAPLES Center Friday before returning home Sunday.

Then it's off for the Sonics on an early five-game road trip, highlighted by the Nov. 7 matchup with the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat and stars Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. To close out November and start December, the Sonics get a four-game homestand featuring the 2004-05 Champion San Antonio Spurs visiting on Nov. 26.

December sees the Sonics visit the Midwest in a five-game road trip that will match them up with the Cleveland Cavaliers and All-Star LeBron James as well as the Detroit Pistons. With a pair of back-to-backs and five games in seven days, the trip will be challenging. The Sonics close 2006 playing once again on New Year's Eve against the Boston Celtics.

2007 opens with a bang for the Sonics, who play at Dallas and Houston back-to-back on the Texas two-step. Seattle native and UW star Nate Robinson comes to KeyArena with the New York Knicks on Jan. 5. Later, the lengthy homestand will bring the Heat (Jan. 10) and Cleveland (Jan. 16) to Seattle. The Sonics finish January where they started it, with the exact same back-to-back deep in the heart of Texas.

The Sonics are in and out of Seattle in February, with no homestand or road trip longer than two games. The Phoenix Suns make their only KeyArena visit on Feb.14, with the Sonics hoping to ensure a sad Valentine's Day for the Suns before breaking for the All-Star Game. Portland makes its second Seattle visit on Feb. 26.

The month of March takes the Sonics to the Eastern Seaboard on a four-game road trip to New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto. Detroit visits KeyArena on Mar. 13 and the Sonics last homestand is the final weekend of March and first of April against Memphis and Denver. Six of the team's last nine games come on the road, including a three-game trip to Phoenix, Portland and the L.A. Lakers. Seattle then returns home to conclude the 2006-07 regular season at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Apr. 18 before, hopefully, preparing for the playoffs.