So I was poking around Yahoo! Sports yesterday, just looking at random things, when I came upon the L.A. Lakers' 2007-2008 schedule. I clicked on November. Seems they did all right. Interestingly, not a single Saturday game. I clicked on December. Some more wins. Again, not a single Saturday game. January. Yup, no Saturday games. February. One Saturday game: a "road" contest vs. the Clippers. March. No Saturday games.
In sum, they had one scheduled Saturday game the entire year (postseason is obviously not "scheduled"). It was interesting, sure, but it couldn't really mean much, right?
So today, I decided to check it out from a historical perspective. Since 2001, the Lakers' Saturday game totals have gone thusly: 5, 3, 4, 7, 6, 6, 3, 1. So somehow, for whatever reason, the Lakers got an absurdly low total of Saturday games this year. Those totals are actually very low overall, too. Our Saturday games the last 3 years? 13, 14, and 17. The Lakers had 1 Saturday game this year, and have averaged 4.38 since 2000-2001. The average NBA team averaged 13.03 this year. Hmmm. Hmmm.
But does that actually mean anything? Do the low Saturday totals actually provide L.A. an advantage? You'll often hear NBA old-timers or "basketball people" complain that "end of the week" games are the worst- ie, Saturdays, Sundays, especially if they're on the road or part of back to backs. Personally, I've never bought this logic. Sure, I've never played in the NBA, but I don't see how a Wednesday would be different from a Saturday since teams play all week long anyway. There isn't a set day you're "supposed" to relax.
Nevertheless, I looked into the numbers. And they were very surprising to me. On Saturdays this year, road NBA teams went 67-122 at locales not named Staples. That's a 35% winning percentage. Keeping in mind that the NBA must play .500 basketball against itself overall, it's clear that Saturday has to be one of the most lopsided days of the week. Teams went 67-122 on Saturdays at arenas nationwide, but the Lakers were spared from visiting any of these buildings. Granted, it also means that L.A. couldn't host games on this home-friendly day. But throw in the fact that not playing Saturdays means no end-of-week back-to-backs (which, if the Saturday stats say anything, actually are tougher), and... hmmm. Hmmm.
I won't make any sweeping statements here, but... makes you wonder, doesn't it?