NBA Schedule 2021: League Releases Official Slate for 2nd Half of Regular Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The NBA officially lifted the lid on its second-half slate for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday. 

Upon the conclusion of the All-Star break on March 10, play will resume the following day and run through May 16.

Here is each team's road the rest of the way.

           

Eastern Conference

Atlantic

Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets

New York Knicks

Philadelphia 76ers

Toronto Raptors

       

Central

Chicago Bulls

Cleveland Cavaliers

Detroit Pistons

Indiana Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks

    

Southeast

Atlanta Hawks

Charlotte Hornets

Miami Heat

Orlando Magic

Washington Wizards

            

Western Conference

Southwest

Dallas Mavericks

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Houston Rockets

Memphis Grizzlies

New Orleans Pelicans

San Antonio Spurs

        

Northwest

Denver Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers

Utah Jazz

       

Pacific

Golden State Warriors

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns

Sacramento Kings

           

Due to the inevitable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association chose to release its schedule in two phases. Building in a buffer and maintaining some level of flexibility was important to account for games that would get postponed.

The approach proved sensible since 30 contests have already been pushed back. At one point, the Washington Wizards went nearly two weeks without stepping onto the court.

With numerous teams losing players due to the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, many fans wondered whether the league would again pause the season to allow for a soft reset.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in January that option wasn't on the table.

"We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly," he said. "There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols."

Last year's postseason drove home how the regular-season standings don't necessarily illustrate a team's suitability as a title contender. The top two seeds in the Eastern Conference were bounced in the conference semifinals, the same stage at which the No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers threw away a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets.

Still, fans have plenty of storylines to follow over the second half.

A first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics led the Philadelphia 76ers to fire head coach Brett Brown and bring Daryl Morey to the front office.

Morey opted against breaking up the Joel Embiid/Ben Simmons tandem, and his patience has paid off so far. Philadelphia is first in the East at 21-11. Perhaps the coaching change was one thing needed to raise the team's postseason ceiling.

The Brooklyn Nets are lingering 0.5 games back in second and could eventually overtake Philadelphia. Adding James Harden to a roster that already included Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving produced the expected result on offense, but the trade also left the roster pretty thin and in need of defensive reinforcements.

Still, the Nets look dangerous with Harden playing at an MVP-type level again.

Out west, no team has been a bigger surprise than the first-place Utah Jazz.

Nobody questions whether head coach Quin Snyder has gotten the most out of the players at his disposal. The Jazz reached the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, but they ran out of steam against opponents with more top-end talent (the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and Houston Rockets in 2018 and 2019).

As good as Utah is playing right now, it would still probably be an underdog if matched up against the Clippers or reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have the likes of the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies, all of which will be looking to rebound in the second half following disappointing starts.