The NBA released their 2012-13 schedule today and the Memphis Grizzlies will open their campaign on Halloween night on the road against their recent playoff opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers. Their first home contest will be against the Utah Jazz on November 5th.
Memphis will be on TV a total of 15 times this year, between ESPN (7 games), TNT (1 game), and NBA-TV (7 games). That’s a new high for a franchise that was once accustomed to rarely even getting a highlight on Sportscenter. Another bonus is that 21 of the Grizzlies’ 41 home games are scheduled for weekends.
Key games include home games against Eastern Conference foes Miami (11/11), New York (11/16), and Boston (3/23), as well as games against the Western Conference elite – the Thunder (@ OKC 11/14 & 1/31, home 3/20) and Lakers (home 11/23 & 1/23, @ L.A. 4/5).
The Grizzlies are going to have to do their best to make hay early on, as they will play 29 of their 51 games before the All-Star break at home, including a 5-game homestand in November. However, only 12 of 31 games occur within the friendly confines of the FedExForum after the February festivities. That includes playing 11 of 17 games on the road in March, which starts with a trip to Florida to play the Heat and Magic, and also a 4-game road trip out west to play the Blazers, Clippers, Nuggets, and Jazz.
Another area of concern is the 18 sets of back-to-back games that Memphis will play, all of which involve travel. This is one of those things that fans can look to complain about when it comes to looking over the balance of the schedule. By comparison, the Thunder only play 12 sets of back-to-backs.
The 2012 preseason schedule will be released at a later date, as well as the local broadcast TV schedule, so check back for that when announced.