Sport: NBA strength of schedule breakdown: Nuggets stare down easiest road; Lakers look to rack up 'schedule wins'

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Every year, we hear complaining from various teams and fanbases about the unfairness of their given schedule. Some of those gripes are legitimate, and some are not. There will be easier schedules than others.

  NBA strength of schedule breakdown: Nuggets stare down easiest road; Lakers look to rack up 'schedule wins' © Provided by Sporting News

There is also an objective way to measure those claims.

Positive Residual, a sports analytics site, has an NBA schedule tracker that analyzes various schedule factors, including strength of schedule (using a combination of opponent strength, rest and altitude) and rest-advantaged games.

Through its tool, we can see which teams really do have the hardest and easiest schedules.

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NBA's easiest, hardest schedules in 2022-23

Based on Positive Residual's methodology, the Nuggets have the easiest schedule in the league, while the Spurs have the hardest.

Here's the full list:

  1. Nuggets
  2. Jazz
  3. Hawks
  4. Timberwolves
  5. Cavaliers
  6. Bucks
  7. Grizzlies
  8. Suns
  9. Celtics
  10. Clippers
  11. Raptors
  12. Heat
  13. 76ers
  14. Mavericks
  15. Lakers
  16. Pelicans
  17. Warriors
  18. Nets
  19. Hornets
  20. Bulls
  21. Trail Blazers
  22. Kings
  23. Wizards
  24. Pacers
  25. Knicks
  26. Pistons
  27. Magic
  28. Rockets
  29. Thunder
  30. Spurs

Teams with the easiest, hardest starts to the season

Every year, Ed Kupfer of the Houston Rockets tweets out various visualizations of the NBA schedule. One of the most useful ones is to see who should come out of the gate roaring hot.

The Wolves have the easiest start to the season, followed by the Clippers and Bucks. The Thunder have the toughest opening schedule.

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Teams with the most schedule wins in the NBA

There are plenty of games during the season in which a well-rested team faces an opponent on the end of a back-to-back. These are oftentimes thought of as schedule wins and losses. Positive Residual tracks them as well.

They are not distributed equally, and some teams have definite reasons to be unhappy. The Lakers got the most schedule wins on their plate, while the Hornets got the least.

  1. Lakers
  2. Hawks
  3. Raptors
  4. Kings
  5. Timberwolves
  6. Cavaliers
  7. Suns
  8. Thunder
  9. Nuggets
  10. Mavericks
  11. Jazz
  12. 76ers
  13. Magic
  14. Pelicans
  15. Bucks
  16. Grizzlies
  17. Pistons
  18. Wizards
  19. Clippers
  20. Rockets
  21. Nets
  22. Trail Blazers
  23. Warriors
  24. Bulls
  25. Celtics
  26. Heat
  27. Pacers
  28. Spurs
  29. Knicks
  30. Hornets

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Teams with the most schedule losses in the NBA

Conversely, there are plenty of times when a tired team has to face a well-rested opponent.

The Clippers have the most schedule losses, while the Suns have the fewest.

  1. Clippers
  2. Warriors
  3. Spurs
  4. Bulls
  5. Kings
  6. Thunder
  7. Timberwolves
  8. Pacers
  9. Nuggets
  10. Wizards
  11. Trail Blazers
  12. Knicks
  13. Pelicans
  14. Heat
  15. Mavericks
  16. Cavaliers
  17. Nets
  18. Jazz
  19. 76ers
  20. Hornets
  21. Celtics
  22. Hawks
  23. Magic
  24. Bucks
  25. Grizzlies
  26. Lakers
  27. Pistons
  28. Raptors
  29. Rockets
  30. Suns

Positive Residual's schedule tracker is an interesting way to look at schedules during the offseason, but it's even more useful toward the end of the season in the heat of playoff races because it continually updates.

Be sure to check back with the tool if your team is in the thick of seeding battles.

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