All killer, slightly less than usual filler. The strike-shortened 2011-12 NBA schedule is jam-packed with game-after-game-game, with very little rest in between. For us fans it's great, but perhaps it's not so grand for the oft-injured, depth-challenged, Portland Trail Blazers. Their 66-game schedule (after the jump) is riddled back-to-back games and even a handful of cruel back-to-back-to-back games. Thank God, they have the well-rested legs of Earl Barron on the bench.

While the scheduling Gods might not have been so kind when they saddled the Blazers with a seven game road trip, they made up for it by pairing Portland against only three Eastern Conference teams (Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Washington Wizards) on more than one occasion. When it comes to the East, the Blazers are significantly better off playing those lowly three teams than having to lock horns twice with the likes of Miami, Boston, or Chicago.

In other Blazers' news, the team has once again pledged their loyalties to Brandon Roy and the sad remnants of Brandon Roy's knees. Despite this desperate column from the shimmering dome of sport journalism hackdom, the franchise seems to have no immediate plans to cash in their amnesty clause chip on Brandon Roy's bloated contract and in fact, the GM-less Blazers believe that Roy will once again compete for his starting job. Not sure how that is possible since Roy has tumbleweeds rolling around where his knee ligament should be, but let's worry about that later.

Did someone mention crippled knees and wasted potential? Greg Oden is reportedly "leaning" (poor choice of words, Yahoo) towards accepting the Blazers' qualifying offer of $8.8 million, meaning he'll have at least one more year in a Portland uniform. Or, as he is best remembered, one more year looking sad while wearing a suit on the Blazers' bench. Oden is scheduled to return to the court sometime in January.

Hey, basketball is back. Life is once again worth living.

Monday, December 19th vs Utah (Preseason)
Wednesday, December 21st @ Utah (Preseason)
Monday, December 26th vs Philadelphia
Tuesday, December 27th vs Sacramento
Thursday, December 29th vs Denver

Sunday, January 1st @ LA Clippers
Tuesday, January 3rd @ Oklahoma City
Thursday, January 5 vs LA Lakers
Friday, January 6th @ Phoenix
Sunday, January 8th vs Cleveland
Tuesday, January 10th vs LA Clippers
Wednesday, January 11th vs Orlando
Friday, January 13th @ San Antonio
Saturday, January 14th @ Houston
Monday, January 16th @ New Orleans
Wednedsay, January 18th @ Atlanta
Friday, January 20th @ Toronto
Saturday, January 21st @ Detroit
Monday, January 23rd vs Sacramento
Tuesday, January 24th vs Memphis
Wednesday, January 25 @ Golden State
Friday, January 27th vs Phoenix
Monday, January 30th @ Utah

Wednesday, February 1st vs Charlotte
Thursday, February 2nd @ Sacramento
Saturday, February 4th vs Denver
Monday, February 6th vs Oklahoma City
Wednesday, February 8th vs Houston
Friday, February 10th @ New Orleans
Saturday, February 11th @ Dallas
Tuesday, February 14th vs Washington
Wednesday, February 15th @ Golden State
Thursday, February 16th vs LA Clippers
Saturday, February 18th vs Atlanta
Monday, February 20th @ LA Lakers
Tuesday, February 21st vs San Antonio
Wednesday, February 29th @ Denver

Thursday, March 1 vs Miami
Saturday, March 3 vs Minnesota
Monday, March 5 vs New Orleans
Wednesday, March 7 @ Minnesota
Friday, March 9 @ Boston
Saturday, March 10 @ Washington
Tuesday, March 13 @ Indiana
Wednesday, March 14 @ New York
Friday, March 16 @ Chicago
Sun, March 18th @ Oklahoma City
Tuesday, March 20th vs Milwaukee
Thursday, March 22th vs Memphis
Friday, March 23rd @ LA Lakers
Sunday, March 25th vs Golden State
Tuesday, March 27th vs Oklahoma City
Thursday, March 29th vs New Orleans
Friday, March 30th @ LA Clippers

Sunday, April 1st vs Minnesota
Monday, April 2nd vs Utah
Wednesday, April 4th vs New Jersey
Friday, April 6th @ Dallas
Saturday, April 7th @ Milwaukee
Monday, April 9th vs Houston
Wednesday, April 11th vs Golden State
Friday, April 13th vs Dallas
Sunday, April 15th @ Sacramento
Monday, April 16th @ Phoenix
Wednesday, April 18th vs Utah
Saturday, April 21st @ Memphis
Monday, April 23rd @ San Antonio
Thursday, April 26th @ Utah