The best way to start this out is by saying playing in the NBA is hard. There is No Doubt(ing) that. Of any of the major four sports leagues, it is the one that carries the least amount of players. Therefore, it is technically the hardest to sustain a successful career in. Not to get in the technicalities, but yeah. Just needed to get that out there.
Why? Because now it makes it easier to say the Boston Celtics have arguably the easiest schedule in the NBA this upcoming season. That’s definitely beneficial for them. But then again, this is still a pro league. They are going up against NBA players. It’s not really easy. It just might be easier than what some of their opponents are stacked up against.
Every NBA team's 2017-18 strength of schedule ranked by 2016-17 W-L% and Pythagorean Expectation. Suns toughest, Cavaliers easiest. pic.twitter.com/DR11MeuWNW
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 15, 2017
That’s right: the strength of schedule ranks 29th with an adjusted .483 rating. That’s the blessing of playing in the Eastern Conference. It’s clearly a lot less difficult than playing on the west coast. Case and point: the hardest schedule belongs to the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix is in the southwest. The second hardest schedule belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans, who for some reason are in the “west” (along with the Memphis Grizzlies). I guess the other lesson we learned here is that the NBA really doesn’t know geography. But yeah, most of the team’s with “hard” schedules are west coast.
Here’s another interesting “strength of schedule” point. If you’re a terrible team, then your schedule will be “harder”. Why? Think of it this way. If you’re in a 5-team league and there’s 10 games and you go 10-0, that means your opponents went 40-50. If you went 0-10, your opponents went 50-40. The Brooklyn Nets have the seventh “hardest” schedule in the league. Essentially, if the Celtics are good and they don’t have to play themselves–which is clearly stated in the 5th amendment–their schedule is going to be easier.
Also, at first I thought the dude who did tremendous research and then tweeted that was Yeah-Yeah from the Sandlot, but no. That dude grew up to be a bad guy, from the intel I’ve gathered. Just Google Marty York and a lot of bad stuff comes up. It’s a shame to anyone else who shares the same name.