The full NBA regular season schedule for the 2017-18 season was revealed on Monday night during NBA TV's release special.
The season will open on Oct. 17 with the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Boston Celtics in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals before the Golden State Warriors raise their latest championship banner against the Houston Rockets. The full national TV games schedule, including Christmas Day, was released last week.
Four of the biggest games on the schedule are homecomings for players who moved this summer. Chris Paul’s return to Los Angeles with the Rockets comes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), new Thunder forward Paul George comes back to Indiana on Dec. 13, Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau make their return to Chicago on Feb. 9 and Gordon Hayward’s first game as a visitor in Utah will be March 28.
The Crossover’s Ben Golliver also passed along this analysis of the slate:
4 GAMES IN 5 NIGHTS
For the first time in league history, the schedule will not have a single instance of a team playing 4 games in 5 nights.
This concludes a three-year initiative to remove 4 in 5s.
In 2014-15, we had 70 instances which then reduced to 27 in 15-16 and 20 in 16-17.
BACK TO BACKS
Back To Backs have been cut to 14.4 per team (total of 431), a 11.7% reduction from 16.3 per team last season (57 back to backs were eliminated in this year’s schedule).
No team has more than 16 B2Bs and no team has fewer than 13 (last year the range was 14 to 18).
As recently as 2014-15, teams averaged 19.3 B2Bs, which means a reduction of 25.7% of B2Bs in three years.
This year’s schedule has a range of FTE scores of +4/-5.
Last year, the range was +6/-7 and as recently as 2014-15, it was +9/-9.
We protected 22 “marquee” national TV games such that for all the participating teams NONE of the games are part of back-to-backs, 4-in-5s, or 5-in-7s, and all have less than 3,500 miles traveled in the 7 days leading up to the game.
These games are all 5 games on Christmas, all ABC Saturday and Sunday games and all 3 games on MLK day on TNT.
In addition, the eight (8) national television games during Week 1 on TNT and ESPN were scheduled to ensure that no teams would be on a back to back leading in to the game.
SCHEDULE BY WEEK
• In a new feature, we are labeling our schedule by week to enhance the ability of fans to follow the 1,230-game season.
• Starting with Week 1 and ending with Week 26, the weekly structure will help reinforce awareness of upcoming games and communicate key storylines.
• Each week will run Monday through Sunday.
OTHER INTERESTING NOTE
Reduced the number of 5 games in 7 nights to 36 (average of 1.2 per team) from 90 last season (average of 3.0 per team).