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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/14/15

On Wednesday, the league released the official team schedules for the 2015/16 NBA season. Some of the more notable changes for this season are that the NBA was able to cut the average amount of back-to-backs per team from 19.3 last season to 17.8 for 2015/16, and reduced the amount of four games in five days teams will play from 2.3 in 2014/15 to .9 this coming season, as well as cut down the distance each team will be required to travel by 2%. These alterations were done with the hope that they would reduce wear-and-tear on the players, as well as to improve the overall product on the court by keeping the players fresher.

One debate that seems to rear its head every year regards the overall length of the regular season. NBA teams began playing 80 games each beginning way back in the day during the 1961/62 campaign. The league then bumped that number up to 81 for the 1966/67 season, courtesy of expansion, and finally settled on the current 82 game format the following year. While the team owners certainly benefit financially from playing more games courtesy of TV contracts, gate receipts, and of course, concession sales, one can argue that the longer season creates less meaningful games, as well as increases the injury risk for all of the players involved.

So here’s the topic of the day: Is the current 82 game regular season schedule too long? If so, what changes should be made to improve the quality of the game?

There have been suggestions made by members of the league and the media to decrease the overall game count to 76, which could help reduce the amount of late season contests where star players are resting up for the playoffs. After all, with how expensive it can be nowadays to attend an NBA event, shouldn’t fans be able to see the best players on the court for their hard-earned cash? A more radical suggestion, made by ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz a few years ago, called for paring down the amount of games to 44. Under that plan, teams would play just twice a week, one game midweek, and the other on the weekend. While that big of a reduction is highly unlikely given the amount of revenue it would cost the league, it would also likely create some seriously contentious CBA meetings, which would be needed to ratify such a change, since there would be salary cap and pay scale adjustments needed to accompany such a significant alteration.

What are your thoughts on the current season length? If you believe a change needs to be made, then how many games should teams play each campaign? Are there any other changes, such as length of the preseason, playoff series, All-Star break duration, that you think would help improve the NBA? Take to the comments section below to chime in. We look forward to what you have to say.

Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, shoot me a message at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @EddieScarito to submit topics or ideas for what we should present in future posts.

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4 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/14/15

  1. Jacob Jackson

    I think significantly reducing the schedule, like Arnovitz’s proposal, is a non-starter because of the loss of in-arena gate receipts and concession sales. Even a slightly-less drastic reduction, like Danny Laroux’s #NBAUtopia idea of 58 games with a home-and-home against each team, would take a huge chunk of cash out of both players and owners’ pockets.

    I think it’s a good thing that the current model rewards teams for having deep rosters. There are absolutely no teams that play more than 11 guys per game, even on back-to-backs, even early in the season. So if you think about it, there’s at least two guys at the end of the bench for every team, plus oftentimes two inactives as well, who rarely play. This says to me that the schedule is not SO taxing as critics make it out to be, because if rotation players simply couldn’t endure it, teams would be using the back end of the roster more extensively throughout the league.

    I think a better solution is to continue tweaking around the margins. This year is a positive step – less back-to-backs for every team, less 4-in-5 nights, less travel miles as road trips are concentrated in the same area (i.e., teams play all three Texas teams on the same road trip). I also would be totally fine with teams playing 4 pre-season games, rather than 8. But those intermediary measures are much better than slicing 30-50% of the regular season, which would certainly result in a loss of revenue of ~25%.

  2. Trog

    I’m in favor of a slight cutback. 14 other teams in your conference x 3 games each = 42 games. 15 other teams in non-conference x 2 games each = 30 games. 42+30= 72 games. I’d like to eventually see 2 more expansion teams in future years (2 conferences of 16 teams) which would push schedule to 77 games in that format, which I think is ideal.

    I agree with Jacob. Loss of revenue would be problematic and would have to be something that was collectively bargained.

  3. Chuck Myron

    I think somewhere around 66 or 68 games would be ideal, though it would never happen. So, I think you just have to spread the season over a longer period of time. I think we’ll soon see the last two weeks of the preseason vanish in favor of a longer season, though to have a real effect, the regular season would have to be longer by amount a month or so.

  4. soul

    Keep the 82 games, but make the season longer. Space out the games more. Consider setting limits on the amount of practices teams can schedule, like the NFL CBA does.

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