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Finding league bias in the Spurs' schedule was surprisingly difficult this year

Stampler had to look long and hard to find some way that the Spurs were slighted by the league in their schedule. But we can all be thankful that he eventually found something to be angry about. And it's fairly legit, too.

A visual approximation of Stampler's response upon viewing the Spurs' 2013-14 schedule.
A visual approximation of Stampler's response upon viewing the Spurs' 2013-14 schedule.

A couple days ago, something called a "Trevor Zickgraf" invited us (and by "us" I mean "me") to put on a tinfoil hat and get our conspiracy theories ready; presumably ones that would prove that the recently-released 2013-14 schedule is against the Spurs, just like the last 30 or so have been.

Challenge: Accepted.

You might guess I'm gonna complain about the ungodly 19 back-to-backs, which is two more than the team suffered through last season, but no. The fact of the matter, unless Jeff McDonald is wrong about something (ahem) is that the Spurs seem to be catching a break on their SEGABABAS...

So, that's good, right?

No friends, I had to dig deeper to find something to complain about. Deep into the sofa cushions of your souls, feeling all sorts of crumbs of regret, pennies of guilt and crusty boogers of jealousy. There's also some gooey stuff down here I don't even want to try to identify.

This tweet, which somehow found its way onto my timeline via some retweet shenanigans, sent me down an exhaustive and, as you'll soon discover, mostly pointless journey, but at least it hatched an idea...

Yes, mis amigos, rest day advantages (and disadvantages) are the key discovering the method to my schedule madness.

Naturally, I charted the schedule. Here are some findings:

Spurs Advantage

Rest Totals:

Same: 38 - no days: 9 | one day: 26 | two days: 1 | Other: 2

The Spurs have 38 games on the schedule where they have the same amount of rest days as their opponents. Nine of their 19 back-to-backs are also back-to-backs for their opponents.

+1 rest: 13 - two off days vs. one: 6 | one off day vs. B2B

The Spurs have 13 games where they'll have one more day of rest than the opposition. These games are nearly evenly split between one day off for the Spurs and a B2B for the opponents, and two days off for San Antonio and one for the bad guys.

+2 rest: 4 - three off days vs one: 2 | two off days vs B2B: 2

Four games where we have a two-day advantage, again evenly split between three days for us and one for them and two for us and none for them.

+3 rest: 1 - four off days vs one

+4 rest: 1 - four off days vs B2B

Two games with a major rest advantage.

Add it up, and that's 19 total games with a rest advantage. Again, the Clippers had the most with 32. Ridiculous.

Now comes the ugly stuff.

Spurs Disadvantage

Rest Totals:

-1 rest: 17 - B2B vs one off day: 6 | one off day vs two: 10 | two off days vs three: 1

Six for us where the opponent has one day off, 10 of the more conventional variety and one weird one early in the year.

-2 rest: 4 - B2B vs two off days: 2 | one off day vs three: 1 | two off days vs four: 1

Two games where they've got two days off and we're on a SEGABABA, one game where they have three days off and we have one, and one hella weird one against the Lakers where they're off for four days and we're off for two.

-3 rest: 2 - B2B vs three off days: 1 | one off day vs four: 1

You'll note we have two -3 situations and only one +3. It gets even better when you find out who they're against.

-4 rest: 1 - one off day vs five: 1

-6 rest: 1 - B2B vs six off days: 1

The -6 isn't as insane as it sounds. Basically we've got a SEGABABA right off the all-star break and the Blazers get an extra day of rest before starting their second half.

Still, you add it up and that's 25 games where the opponent has the rest advantage on the Spurs (the Lakers, ironically, lead the league with 30), compared to only 19 where they have the advantage. Over the course of the season, San Antonio's opponents will have 13 days of rest on them (more on this in a second) or about a week if you take out that one Portland game after the break which really should qualify because of the amount of rest the Spurs will have off for the All Star Break..

BABA breakdown:

SA: 19 Home-road: 4 | Road-home: 8 | Road-road: 7

Opp: 19 Home-road: 4 | Road-home: 4 | Road-road: 11

Only seven road-road B2Bs for the Spurs, which isn't too bad. Those are the toughest on the schedule. Our opponents have 11 such games, where they play at the Spurs on their SEGABABA, but I don't think that's an anomaly because of the proximity between San Antonio and other teams like Houston, Dallas, Memphis and New Orleans. I didn't even check how many B2Bs our opponents start in San Antone, but I imagine it's around another dozen or so.

Here's the good stuff...

Vs. Glamour Teams:

Mia: -1 (SA 1 vs Mia 2); same (1) Total: -1

Chi: -1 (SA B2B vs Chi 1); +1 (SA 2 vs Chi 1) Total: 0

Bkn: -1 (SA 1 vs Bkn 2); -2 (SA B2B vs Bkn 2) Total: -3

NY: same (1); -3 (SA 1 vs NY 4) Total: -3

LAL: same (1); +1 (SA 1 vs LAL 0); -2 (SA 2 vs LAL 4); same (1) Total: -1

LAC: same (1); +1 (SA 1 vs LAC 0); same (5) Total: +1

OKC: -1 (SA 1 vs OKC 2); same (1); +2 (SA 2 vs OKC 0); -3 (SA B2B vs OKC 3) Total: -2

Hou: same (1); same (1); -1 (SA 1 vs Hou 2); +1 (SA 2 vs Hou 1) Total: 0

GS: same (1); -1 (SA B2B vs GS 1); -1 (SA B2B vs GS 1); +1 (SA 1 vs GS 0) Total: -1

Total: 27 games vs. glamour teams

10 same rest; 7 at -1 rest; 2 at -2 rest; 2 at -3 rest; 5 +1 rest; 1 +2 rest; -10 days total.

And this is what makes me angry. Of the 27 games vs. the glamour teams, the Spurs have equal rest or are at a rest disadvantage in 21 of them. They have seven games of -1 days rest and four of -2 or more (-3 each to the Knicks and the Thunder. Of course, the Thunder). Overall, they're losing 10 days of rest in these 27 games, or just about their total disadvantage on the whole season. Seems curious to me that their schedule plays fair against everybody else, but against the contenders they're losing the most rest.

* * *

As for all the crying and whining about the lack of national attention, I really don't care. 21 games seems like a decent amount to me, even if six of them are relegated to NBATV. Frankly, the less of ESPN's studio crew in my life, the better. I'd be perfectly happy if all 21 were on TNT/NBATV, actually. All the arguments and debates about which teams have more or less nationally televised games than the Spurs, y'all have fun with those. I have League Pass and my trusty DVR will record the Spurs somewhere on the dial and that's good enough for me. I spent the first 16 years of my Spurs fandom limited to just the national games (including the first three seasons of Manu's career; an unfathomable sin) and now that I don't have to do that anymore, you won't catch me complaining about the mundane network details.

One thing I will complain about though, and I realize this doesn't relate to hardly any of you, but for the umpteenth straight season the Spurs will play both of their road games at Golden State (Oakland, near my whereabouts) as a part of a back-to-back. Usually, they're both SEGABABAS, and it's no different this season, as the Spurs start off against Phoenix in one set before visiting the Bay and begin in Sac-town in the other set. Either way, the prospect of buying a ticket brings with it the likely specter of Guys I'm Paying To See sitting on the bench.

Just once I'd like to be able to purchase tickets secure in the knowledge ahead of time that Pop will field the complete team. In both cases the first opponent will be a patsy, so I wonder how Poppo will play it. Will he try to win with his B team against lesser opponents and go for it against the Dubs, or will he take the guaranteed win with his big guns and then rest everybody versus a super-competitive Warriors team? Obviously, you know which I'm rooting for, but it's not just for selfish reasons. I'm always going to want to win as many games as possible, to chase home court advantage.

Anyway, at least now we know what the schedule is and another piece of the off-season puzzle has been discovered. This season promises to be fascinating as usual, and it will be filled with highs and lows, including old-man dunks, jaw-dropping highlight passes, clutch shots, big-time defensive plays to pull out wins, annoying injuries, shooting slumps and boneheaded gaffes to pull out losses from the jaws of victory. And all that will just be from Ginobili. I'm sure the other guys will do a couple of noteworthy things here and there too.

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