N.B.A. Schedule a Cram Course for Teams

Teams will sometimes play on three consecutive nights — the dreaded back-to-back-to-back set.

Some teams will play five games in six nights.

LeBron James will skip some cities. So will Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

The schedule will not be balanced, or sane, for that matter.

Every team will play 66 games, the maximum the league could fit after a 149-day lockout that nearly wiped out the season. It will start on Dec. 25 and end on April 26, after four possibly quirky months.

Every team will play, on average, two more games per month, robbing teams of practice and rest. Coaches and players will surely grouse, though it bears noting that the players union signed off on the 66-game slate.

The season opens with five nationally televised games on Christmas, with the hosting the Boston Celtics, followed by a finals rematch of Miami at Dallas. The other games feature Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando at Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State.

The N.B.A. has not scheduled back-to-back-to-backs since 1999, during the last lockout-shortened season. Before that, it had been more than two decades.

The Lakers will be the first to endure the three-night grind, following their opener with a quick trip to Sacramento and then a return home to play Utah on Dec. 27.

Every team will play at least one back-to-back-to-back set, or triple, as some are calling it. Ten teams will have the displeasure of playing two triples: Atlanta, Detroit, Indiana, the Clippers, Minnesota, , Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland and San Antonio.

Contrary to initial indications from the league, no team will have to play three triples this season. There will be 42 triples in all, 24 fewer than the league needed in 1999, when teams played 50 games in 90 days.

The unbalanced schedule is certain to leave fans and ticket sellers grumbling. Each team will play just 18 games out of its conference, which means that on average, each team will skip six or seven cities.

Chicago fans will not see Kobe Bryant, the league’s pre-eminent star and five-time champion. Nor will they see Blake Griffin, the Clippers’ electrifying rookie of the year, or the Thunder’s Durant, the reigning scoring champion.

Durant will not make it to Madison Square Garden either, denying him the chance to perform on the N.B.A.’s most cherished stage.

The defending champion Mavericks will not make it to Washington, denying them the chance to make the traditional White House visit.

The N.B.A. is making the most of Miami’s star power, sending LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to all of the major markets. But the Heat will be skipping San Antonio, New Orleans, Memphis, Houston, Phoenix and Sacramento.

The Lakers are also skipping Atlanta, Indiana, Milwaukee, Charlotte, New Jersey and Cleveland.

The next time the Lakers play a road game against the Nets, it will be in Brooklyn, at the new Barclays Center.

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