Knicks have most favorable schedule for back-to-backs, Raptors least favorable

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Carmelo Anthony called having fewer back-to-backs “the dream.”

The NBA fulfilled that dream, significantly reducing the number of back-to-backs in the 2015-16 schedule.

In fact, the league did Melo’s Knicks one better.

New York plays just 17 back-to-backs, tied for seventh-fewest in the NBA,. More significantly, the Knicks opponents are on a back-to-back a league-high 25 times.

That gives the Knicks an NBA-best +8 difference in back-to-backs.

On the other side, like the Knicks, the Raptors play 17 back-to-backs. But Toronto’s opponents are on back-to-backs just 10 times, giving the Raptors a league-worst -8 difference.

Here’s how every team stacks up, using data from NBAstuffer.com:

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Team Back-to-backs Opponent back-to-backs Back-to-backs difference
New York 17 25 +8
Brooklyn 15 21 +6
Phoenix 14 19 +5
Oklahoma City 16 21 +5
Indiana 17 22 +5
Dallas 17 20 +3
New Orleans 17 20 +3
Portland 19 22 +3
San Antonio 17 19 +2
Chicago 17 18 +1
Utah 18 19 +1
Atlanta 19 20 +1
Orlando 19 20 +1
Washington 19 20 +1
Denver 16 16 0
Detroit 20 20 0
Houston 20 20 0
Milwaukee 20 20 0
Charlotte 16 15 -1
LA Lakers 18 17 -1
LA Clippers 20 19 -1
Minnesota 14 12 -2
Boston 19 16 -3
Miami 17 13 -4
Sacramento 19 15 -4
Cleveland 19 14 -5
Golden State 20 15 -5
Memphis 18 12 -6
Philadelphia 19 13 -6
Toronto 17 10 -7

Kudos to the NBA for reducing the number of back-to-backs. It’s important for preventing injuries and improving the level of play.

But the next step is equity.

The Knicks and Raptors play in the same division. They shouldn’t face such radically different schedules.