No need to wait until 7pm EST to see the 2011-2012 NBA schedule for the Phoenix Suns on NBA TV tonight, we have it now! Thanks to Paul Coro and the AZ Republic, we have obtained the complete Phoenix Suns schedule before the official unveiling.
As expected, some of the NBA's biggest stars and marquee players will not be seen at US Airways Center this season; including Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Amare Stoudemire (although they will still face these players in away games). In addition, the Suns will face some unique challenges this season because of the condensed schedule. A shortened season creates less time to play the games; which means less rest for aging superstars Steve Nash and Grant Hill. What other challenges will the schedule bring for the Suns? Continue reading after the jump for the complete schedule and a breakdown of what the Suns can expect in the coming season.
Here are a few of the biggest challenges I see the Suns facing based on this schedule. First, like every NBA season, the Suns will play some back-to-back games, but, this season it happens 17 times. Not only that, they also have two stretches where they will play three games in a row (Feb. 13,14,15 and March 14,15,16)...and in both cases the Suns will have to travel between both home and away games during these stretches. Another potential pitfall of the schedule is that the Suns will face every eastern powerhouse team (Heat, Celtics, Bulls, Magic, Knicks) in an away game...doesn't exactly seem fair.
The good news? The longest road stretch is only five games which isn't too bad, and the Suns also start and finish their season at home. Also, the three-in-a-row games are against Warriors-Nuggets-Hawks in February, and Jazz-Clippers-Pistons in March...So at least their opponents for these three game streaks are projected to be only average.