Jun 27, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern (right) introduces deputy commissioner Adam Silver after the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Schedule: The NBA's 5 Hardest Schedules in 2013-14

The NBA schedule is by far the most important story this offseason. It directly affects every team in the NBA. Some teams have easier schedules, other teams harder. Here are five teams with some of the harder schedules in the NBA

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are one of the most consistent teams in the NBA. Built from the inside to the outside the Grizzlies are physically imposing and look poised to make another run for a title in the 2013-14 season, but the NBA schedule will surely test the Griz.

The Grizzlies play 18 games on back-to-back nights which is only three games less than the league high 21. They play an incredibly rough stretch to close out the season in crunch time. At the end of March and April, the Grizzlies play 11 of their final 17 games on the road a number that could possibly damper their chances at a high playoff seed.

Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats are not a title contender to say the least. They are barely even a playoff caliber team and the NBA schedule will not help the Bobcats be any more relevant this season than they were last season.

The Bobcats play a league high 21 back-to-back games as well as play the defending champion Miami Heat four times.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder’s schedule has multiple tough stretches. In the month of January, the Thunder play 17 games. Of those 17, ten are on the road. Twice in January they will play teams on consecutive nights and this stretch is littered with some of the leagues best teams.

The Thunder will play the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

If the Thunder are battling for  a high playoff seed come April then they will have to earn it with games against San Antonio, Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Indiana Pacers all in the month of April.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping for a bounce back season in the 2013-14 campaign. But the schedule does not bode well for the T-Wolves. The Wolves have the second most back-to-back night with 20. 29 of those 40 back-to-back games are on the road which not only tests the Wolves stamina but also focus.

The Wolves also have a tough stretch to close out the season with 11 of their last 15 games in the 2013-14 campaign are against playoff teams. They will have to play teams such as the Rockets, Heat, Bulls, Grizzlies and Warriors.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns are in full rebuilding mode. They have zero championship aspirations and very little chance of making the postseason. But that doesn’t mean the NBA Schedule Gods were kind on the Suns.

The Suns have a difficult schedule. They have 20 back-to-back game occurrences. They play 18 of their first 31 games on the road. That means that the Suns will likely get off to an incredibly rocky start which will sink their season.

They also have road trips of four and five nights. Not to mention they have a stretch in February and March where they play six games in nine nights. All of these stretches will all factor in to the Suns struggling in the upcoming season, which will ultimately be to their favor.

Tags: 2012-13 Preview Charlotte Bobcats Memphis Grizzlies Minnesota Timberwolves Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns

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