The NBA G League released the complete schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 season that will tip off on Friday, November 2nd. During this year, we’ll see a record 27 teams compete in G League action with the inclusion of the Capital City Go-Go, an expansion club owned by the Washington Wizards.
Each team will compete in a 50-game schedule that will be made of 24 home and 24 road games, with the other two matchups occurring at a neutral site during the annual NBA G League Winter Showcase. The regular season will conclude on Saturday, March 23rd, with the post-season beginning in the middle of the following week.
Although the season won’t tip off for another two months, there’s still plenty of reasons to use this schedule release to start getting excited for the upcoming G League campaign.
1, Continued decrease in back-to-backs
Last season, the G League made some small steps to improve player wellness and increase on-court entertainment, as they started to decrease the amount of back-to-backs that each team have. Last year, there was an average of 7 back-to-backs per team, which was a 19% reduction of 8.6 per squad during the 2016-17 season. The number of back-to-backs will be reduced once again as there will be an average of 6.6 this year, a 6% reduction from the prior season.
2. Heavy early road schedule for the Blue Coats
Due to how the construction of the 76ers Fieldhouse likely won’t finish until end of the calendar year, the Blue Coats will spend a lot of time on the road during the first few months of the season. Fifteen of the team’s first 19 games will be considered as away matchups, while the other four will be Wells Fargo Center or Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center. Fortunately, Delaware natives will have plenty of opportunities to check out the new arena as the team will only have three away games from the start of January to the All-Star break.
3. Kostas Antetokounmpo won’t play in Oshkosh
Mavericks two-way prospect Kostas Antetokounmpo will not play any regular season games in Oshkosh against the Wisconsin Herd. That news could upset fans that live in the Oshkosh area as Antetokounmpo played his high school ball at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, which is just 80 miles away from Oshkosh. In addition to that, it definitely would’ve been a blast for Bucks fans to watch the little brother of the superstar that’s leading their favorite team
However, we could still see those two teams face off as the schedule for the NBA G League Winter Showcase hasn’t been announced yet.
4. Stockton Kings get early test against new California foes
During this past April, the Sacramento Kings announced that they were moving their G League affiliate from Reno, Nevada to Stockton, California. Although that move brought an end to a Bighorns team that was around for a decade, it made sense for the Kings as Stockton is only an 80 minute drive away from Sacramento. With this move, the Kings become the fourth G League team stationed in Sacramento as they join the South Bay Lakers, Santa Cruz Warriors and Agua Caliente Clippers.
The Kings won’t have to wait long to play against their new California foes as four of their first five games are against those teams. That run will start on November 3rd as they’ll go to El Segundo to play the South Bay Lakers before going back to Stockton to play that same team on the 5th. On the 7th, they’ll be heading to Santa Cruz to play the Warriors before concluding that run in an August 11th home game against the Agua Caliente Clippers.
5. Guard Gauntlet For Edmond Sumner
After spending the majority of his rookie season on the sidelines due to rehabbing from a torn ACL that he suffered back in college, Pacers two-way prospects Edmond Sumner will enter 2018-19 looking to prove himself against G League competition. Sumner will get an immediate opportunity to demonstrate his skills as he’ll compete against a slew of talented guards during the first month of the season. That competition will include the likes of: Jaylen Adams (Nov. 9th), Walter Lemon (Nov. 10th & 16th), Trevon Duval (Nov. 14th), Kobi Simmons (Nov. 21st), Rawle Alkins (Nov. 25th) and Jordan Loyd (Nov. 29th).
If he can go through that gauntlet of talented guards and still be in a good position stat-wise, then Pacers should be optimistic about Sumner’s basketball future.