Celtics have easiest schedule in NBA next season? And Nets have the hardest?

This may sound too good to be true for Celtics fans, but according to ESPN Insider not only does Boston have the least difficult schedule in the NBA in 2016-17, the Nets also have the league's most challenging.  Here's a description of how Insider ranked all 30 teams:

For each game, we calculated the probability of winning for the two teams based on the baseline forecasts, home court and other scheduling factors -- rest, road back-to-backs, travel, etc. We used those probabilities to run the schedule through a simulator.

The differences between the average simulation results and our baseline forecasts suggest who benefited from the 2016-17 schedule.

What they said about the Celtics:

30. Boston Celtics (3.34 extra wins)

The Celtics get plenty of the Knicks, Nets and Sixers. Seven of their 17 back-to-backs finish in Boston. They have 17 long-rest games and their 25 games with a rest advantage ranks third. It all adds up.

And Brooklyn:

1. Brooklyn Nets (5.32 extra losses)

The Nets are early in their rebuild and the schedule does them no favors. They are tied for the fewest games with two or three days of rest (13) and while they play just 14 back-to-backs, only four of those have the back end at the Barclays Center.

Hypothetically, if you had the C's pegged for 51 wins before the schedule was released, they should now be a 54-win squad.  Similarly, if the Nets were projected for roughly 20 victories, they're now likely to end up with only 15.

The No. 2 seed in the East plus the No. 1 pick in the draft?  Exciting times on the horizon...

Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan

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