Second Half Schedule Release: Back-To-Backs, Road Trips And A Tough Finish

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers still have quite a bit of work to do before closing out the first half of their 2020-21 season, but at least they know what they’ll be up against when the second half starts.

After only releasing the first half of the schedule at the beginning of the 2020-21 season in order to preserve flexibility needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA announced the second-half schedule on Wednesday for all 30 teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers.

So after a week-long break, the Trail Blazers will begin the second half of the season by hosting the Phoenix Suns on March 11 and will wrap it up by hosting the Nuggets on May 16. Observe...

That’s 37 games over the course of 67 days. Portland had two games cancelled, both versus the Memphis Grizzlies, in the first half of the season, and those two games have now been rolled into the second half of the season. In contrast, the Blazers (assuming none of their remaining games in the first half of the season are postponed) played 35 games over the course of 72 days in the firs half of the season.

There’s 19 home games and 18 road games, which are clumped into trips of six games (one), four games (one) and two games (four), and the games are pretty evenly spread out between months.

The schedule, to use a tired expression, is what it is, though there is one stretch that jumps out. The Trail Blazers end their regular season by playing the Lakers, Spurs, Rockets, Jazz, Suns and Nuggets, all of whom will likely be fighting for playoff position. And they've got one of the dreaded five-games-in-seven-nights stretches leading into the back-to-back versus the Lakers and Spurs. Exciting/exhausting stuff.

And then there’s the back-to-backs. After having seven back-to-backs in the first half of the season, the Trail Blazers have ten back-to-backs in the second half. The back-to-backs are even split between five “home/home” and five “away/away,” though there are no “home/away” nor “away/home” back-to-backs, which is probably a good thing for a team situation in the farthest reaches of the NBA landscape.

So that’s what the Trail Blazers will have to contend with as they try to make the postseason for the eighth-consecutive season. Not sure what happens if any of these games have to be postponed, but hopefully we won’t find out.


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