The NBA has officially released their 2023-24 schedule, and with it we have a detailed view as to the road map the Phoenix Suns will have to take to win their first championship in franchise history. It will be a long and arduous road filled with the speed bumps every year brings, combined with unrivaled expectations due to a roster that is packed with superstar talent.
First, let’s take a 30,000 foot view of the schedule:
I always enjoy graphically design the schedule upon release, so there you go. Cranked out in record time this year.
As you start to dissect the intricacies of the schedule, to obvious difference than years past is the integration of the In-Season Tournament, with four games occurring in West Group A against the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers, and Memphis Grizzlies.
Following group play, the elimination round begins, which is obviously unknown at this point. This leaves a gap of games between December 2 and December 12. Given the unknown, only 79 games were revealed. Once the tournament has completed, 3 additional games will be inserted, that is, if the Suns don’t win the In-Season Tournament.
The Suns will get plenty of national media play this season, as 37 of their games are designated to have a national audience. This includes 14 ESPN/ABC games, 11 games on NBATV, and 11 games on TNT to fill out the national coverage this season. This is the third-most in the league behind the Warriors (41) and Lakers (40).
Other scheduling notes:
- Back-to-backs: 14
- Longest homestand: Six games (December 29 and January 7)
- Longest road trip: Seven games (January 24 to February 4)
- Home opener is October 28 against the Jazz
- Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson return to Phoenix on December 13
- Monty Williams returns to Phoenix on October 8
The journey is now mapped out. What games/stretches are you keying in on as the greatest opportunity and/or biggest challenge for the team next season?