Yesterday in what was a hopeful but ultimately futile act, the NBA officially released its 2011-12 schedule.

With the lockout still going strong and with no sign of an end in sight, it’s hard to take seriously the schedule that was sent out on Tuesday.

Still we thought we’d take some time to break down the 76ers 2011-12 schedule just in case the the upcoming NBA season begins on time (Insert joke here.).

In this breakdown post, we assumed that the Sixers current roster will be intact for the 2011-12 season. 

We think you’ll be pleased at how the Sixers could potentially come flying out of the gates next season.


Fast Start

Nov. 2nd – Nov. 11th :  at TOR; vs. MIN; @ ORL; v. HOU and v. MIL

Is it unreasonable to think the 76ers could start the season 4-1, before their early season 3-game West Coast trip?

Tough early stretches:

Nov 13th – 16th: at LAC; at POR; at GSW

Three games in 4 days on the West Coast.  The Clippers will be much improved, the Blazers give the Sixers problems and the GSW wild card is an interesting game.

Also the following won’t help us get off to a fast start in 2010-11 either:

Nov. 20th – Nov. 26th : @ MIA; @ DAL; @ ATL; vs. NYK

The Sixers take on both teams from the 2011 NBA Finals as well as the Hawks who always play the Sixers tough and a rising Knicks team.

The 10 game stretch that could make or break the Sixers season before the holidays are over: 

12/16: vs. ATL

12/18 @ BOS

12/21 @ MIL

12/23 @ CHA

12/26 @ SAC

12/28 @ DEN

12/30 @ UTH

01/01 @ LAL

01/02 @ PHX

01/04 @ NOH

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the scheduling gods at the League offices. 

The toughest road trip:

See the nine games above.

The toughest month:

The stretch from December 16th to January 20th —  In that span of time the Sixers will play in 18 games in 34 days including the 9-game road trip listed above.  They will play 11 games on the road total in this stretch with contests @ CHI and @ Indiana joining the list. They also host the always challenging Wizards as well as Portland and OKC in this span. 

The easiest home stand:

Jan. 25th – Feb. 3rd:  In 6 consecutive games at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers will host IND; CHA; DET; NJN; CHI and LAC.  Only Chicago had a record over .500 last season and the Sixers should be able to go 5-1 in that stretch.     

The easiest month:

November – The Sixers certainly could use a quick start in 2011-12 as that is something that has eluded this franchise in the last two seasons.  The NBA schedule seems to be cooperating in the upcoming season.  In November the Sixers play 15 games (6 home & 9 road) and only 5 of those are against teams that made the playoffs last year.  In addition, they have only one back-to-back set in that month. 

Included in first month of the season are very winnable home games vs. MIN; vs. HOU; vs. MIL; vs. CHA; vs. NYK and vs. NJN. Also in November are winnable road contests @ TOR (opener); @ LAC; @ GSW; @ ATL (1-1 last season @ ATL & it should have been 2-0); and @ CLE.  However, the overall success of the opening month could hang on four games — @ ORL (11/06); @ POR (11/14); @ MIA (11/20) and @ DAL (11/22).  If we can steal two of those games, the Sixers will be off to a great start in 2011-12. 

The toughest back-to-backs:

January 1st and 2nd …On New Year’s day the 7-6 visit Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers in game seven of a nine game road trip.  After the match-up with LAL they’ll then travel to Phoenix to play the Suns the following night in game eight of their West Coast swing. It’s not just the overall nine game road trip and the flight from LA to Phoenix that makes these two nights so rough, it’s also the fact that on back-to-back nights you have to play two teams that are completely different in terms of style of ball.


Philadunkia Notes:

  • The Sixers will play 12 sets of back-to-back games in 2011-12, including five sets of those brutal events in January. 
  • The team will also have completed more then half their road schedule (24 games) by the end of January.  They will have played 26 away games before the 2011 All-Star Break as compared to 31 last season.  
  • Lower Merion product Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers make their annual appearance on Monday, February 6th.

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