The NBA schedule has been released and revealed a couple of interesting things with respect to the Golden State Warriors.
The Dubs became one of the most entertaining teams in the league during the 2012-13 campaign by virtue of their long-range bombs and Stephen Curry’s impressive shooting exhibitions.
Golden State morphed into a League Pass darling and had casual fans tuning in on occasion. The Dubs then went on to make a strong 2013 postseason showing and that essentially cemented their status as a must-see team.
The end result is a schedule loaded with national television appearances. Intriguing right?
Let’s have a look at the games:
- October 31 vs. Los Angeles Clippers on TNT
- November 14 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT
- November 22 vs. Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN
- December 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks on ESPN
- December 13 vs. Houston Rockets on ESPN
- December 19 vs. San Antonio Spurs on TNT
- December 25 vs. Los Angeles Clippers on ESPN
- January 15 vs. Denver Nuggets on ESPN
- January 17 at Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN
- January 20 vs. Indiana Pacers on TNT
- January 30 vs. Los Angeles Clippers on TNT
- January 31 at Utah Jazz on ESPN
- February 6 vs. Chicago Bulls on TNT
- February 20 vs. Houston Rockets on TNT
- February 28 at New York Knicks on ESPN
- April 10 vs. Denver Nuggets on TNT
- April 16 at Denver Nuggets on ESPN
Golden State appeared in eight nationally televised games in 2012-13 and has more than doubled the amount for the following campaign. Indeed, the Warriors will appear in 17 games broadcasted before a national audience in 2013-14.
For the sake of perspective, have a look at the amount of times the league’s marquee teams will be featured in the same setting during the same season:
- Los Angeles Lakers: 25 appearances
- Miami Heat: 25 appearances
- New York Knicks: 25 appearances
- Chicago Bulls: 24 appearances
- Oklahoma City Thunder: 24 appearances
Needless to say, the Warriors have become one of the league’s top attractions. They are not on the same level as the cream of the crop, but they are working their way up there.
It is worth noting that their national television schedule is interesting in its game distribution. Indeed, 11 of their 17 contests will be played at home. Consequently, they may very well get a boost in public perception simply by winning most of their games played before a large audience.
Considering that teams typically play better at home, the Warriors will probably perform better in these contests than most people outside of the Bay think. Keep in mind, opinions are largely formed based on how teams play before a national audience.
With a fair share of games at home, it stands to reason the Dubs will squeak out a few tough battles and become one of the league’s dark horse teams. The league’s marquee teams have roughly the same amount of home games as the Warriors, but they also participate in more games overall.
Here is a quick breakdown:
- Los Angeles Lakers: 16 nationally televised homes games
- New York Knicks: 14 nationally televised home games
- Miami Heat: 12 nationally televised home games
- Chicago Bulls: 11 nationally televised home games
- Oklahoma City Thunder: 10 nationally televised home games
The Heat, Bulls and Thunder will play the majority of their “big games” on the road, whereas the Lakers and Knicks were afforded a slight advantage in playing theirs in their own venues.
By no means can we consider this to be strength of schedule. Instead, it is more about the perception of strength based on the TV broadcasts.
By scheduling the Dubs to play at home in these contests, perhaps the NBA has done the Warriors a favor in determining how the team will be received around the country.