2011-12 NBA Schedule To Be Light On Interconference Play, Says Report

The NBA schedule for the 2011-12 season will feature a few back-to-back-to-backs and fewer interconference games.

In the lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season, teams will play most opponents from the opposite conference just once, according to a report by the New York Times' Howard Beck.

The five-month lockout forced the league to shrink its normal 82-game season to just 66 games. In a normal season, teams play opponents from the other conference twice each (home and away), intra-division opponents four times each (twice home and away) and intraconference opponents outside the division 3-4 times. 

With the 66-game schedule, Beck reports team will face opponents from the other conference 18 times. With 15 opponents outside of a team's conference, that means any given team won't give as many as six NBA arenas this year.

The other 48 games will be played against division opponents, likely pulling four games from non-division opponents. Beck reports that the season will run until April 26, and that each team will play 1-3 back-to-back-to-back sets. (Fun!)

The decrease in interconference games is a drain on smaller market teams who often rely on the opponent to draw a few sellouts at home. The Sacramento Kings, for example, sell out the visit from the Boston Celtics every season. Every city seemed to sell out for the Miami Heat last season. Some teams will miss that payday this year.

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