Spurs’ schedule isn’t that tough says nifty graph

By Quixem Ramirez

Jun 2, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) argues a a call with referee Ed Malloy (14) during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmonsj-US PRESSWIRE

For all the hemming and hawwing I did about the injustice of the Spurs’ schedule (which can be found here), Ed Kupfer, who works with the Houston Rockets as a statistician, may have shut me up for the time being.

According to his estimates, which use ESPN’s projected records as a baseline, the Spurs’ schedule is only slightly difficult rather than egregiously so.

The only Western Conference teams with an easier strength of schedule are the Lakers, Thunder, Clippers and Grizzlies. Nearly every Eastern Conference team has a lower strength of schedule, however, due to the lack of depth in the conference.

This bit of info directly contracts this graph and this chart, which suggest the Spurs have one of the toughest schedules in the league. The takeaway, at least from where I stand is this: The Spurs’ schedule is tough, certainly tougher than Eastern Conference teams, but not impossible. The lack of rest days, though, stand to make the schedule a lot more difficult than otherwise.

So, yeah. Graphs (and charts) are fun and they do happen to show that San Antonio has a difficult road ahead, albeit not as difficult as I previously asserted.

Hat-tip to Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk.