Community Shootaround: Schedule Changes

The NBA formally unveiled every team’s schedule on Monday, as well as its national broadcast schedule for the upcoming season. Other than earlier start times for many of its nationally-televised games, there weren’t a whole lot of surprises.

That could change in a couple of years.

Back in June, numerous team executives brainstormed how it could spice up the schedule, particularly during the league’s 75th anniversary season in 2021/22.

A couple of intriguing ideas included a midseason cup and a postseason play-in tournament. That would require a reduction in the usual 82-game schedule for each club.

A midseason tournament would certainly bring more intrigue, though there would have to be some kind of reward for the victor or victors in the tournament. An automatic playoff berth at stake? Home court advantage in the playoffs if the winner is already a virtual lock for the postseason? A big money prize going to the team/players that prevail?

Lots of kinks would have to be worked out and the owners, players and TV partners would have to sign off on it. The play-in tournament could give a few extra teams hope of making the postseason and reduce the incentive to tank or rest players.

Tweaks could always be made and if the tournaments are a flop, the NBA could always go back to the norm.

Altering the amount of games might keep the players fresher but franchise’s revenues are built around playing 41 home games. Local TV partners also pay for a stable amount of games, presenting more complications.

While NBA records are not as revered or as memorable as Major League Baseball marks, it would impact players achieving milestones and single-season bests. Some players also have incentives in their contracts based upon an 82-game season.

That leads us to our question of the day: Would you like to see the NBA hold a midseason cup and/or postseason play-in tournament or would you prefer to keep the schedule the way it is?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

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17 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Schedule Changes

  1. stevep-4

    Hey, how about this idea? They just play better basketball in the games that they already have. The idea that what the NBA needs is more, even screwier games to determine who gets into the playoffs is really off-base. If teams were consistently competitive and not now primarily farm teams bringing 19 year olds up to speed, they would not need to “spice it up”. It would be better if the NBA went whole nine yards on the G League and sent most of the youngsters to develop in the minors, like they do in baseball.

    NBA games feature a lot of teams that are essentially developmental, which is why many games are not competitive, since they feature players a year or less out of high school against seasoned veterans. The caliber of play is inconsistent and worse yet, free agents choosing to form super teams adds to the uncompetitiveness.

    These ideas are trying to put lipstick on a pig, instead of facing the real issue which is that most of the top draftees are not ready for the bigs but are being paid too much to not play. That means that 1/2 of the teams are working with limited rosters that will never compete with the other half (or maybe it’s more like 3 tiers, with teams only competitive when playing within their tier). Adding more opportunities for teams to ‘get lucky’ in a play-in tournament only adds to the problem by pairing more mismatched teams in the playoffs.

  2. snotrocket

    This is by far the worst of Adam Silver’s ridiculous ideas. Too many teams already make the playoffs.

  3. Less games. No mid-season cup/tournaments. Maybe a first round by to incentivize the regular season

    • Buckman

      Take the score of whichever team is leading at the end of the 3rd quarter then add 15 to it. The teams play until someone reaches the set score. On average, it would take about 7 minutes to get there. This would shave 5 minutes, on average, off of each game resulting in about 8 fewer games played per year.

      Advantages: Shortens minutes played over 82 games. Eliminates some end of game fouling. Creates a next basket wins vibe which will make more games exciting because teams are playing against each other not against the clock.

      • x%sure

        Anything to rain on the parade to the FT line, and disappoint the end-of-game tv ad sponsors.

        • Buckman

          Possibly but I know that I would continue watching a game where one team was down by 5 and the other team needed one more point to win vs. a team down by 5 with 2.5 seconds left and called a timeout. Every game ends on a basket not somebody dribbling aimlessly at half court for 15 seconds. Fouling to catch back up would not work since time is taken out of the picture. A Hack-a-Shaq strategy would still be relevant unless “Shaq’s” team was 1-2 points away from victory.

    • signal_lost

      Which equals less money. Hmmm, I don’t see any players or owners raising their hands for that.

      • Buckman

        Do they cut to commercial after every foul, I thought it was timeouts which would still be used presumably. If there is talk of shortening the season they will lose revenue anyway. The above still gives them 82 games. NBA/Networks could follow soccer and have ad banners or ad logos on the screen during the game to make up revenue. They could cut out a little of preseason and spread games out over longer period giving more rest days during the season.

      • Buckman

        Injuries cost players $ and sometimes the rest of their career. They also cost the teams who are paying for non-performing players…cough, cough…John Wall…cough, cough…Kevin Durant…cough, cough…Paul George.

  4. IslandFlava

    Silver keeps trying to imitate European soccer, but he should realize in Europe NO ONE cares about the cup & rests the best players, so what is the point of copying something that doesn’t work? I think the league should keep things as they are, if it isn’t broken don’t change it.
    16 is a good number of teams in the playoffs.
    82 is a very good number of RS games.
    No need for change.
    These guys get 4-6 months of rest a year, which must allow them to play 82 games in 6 months, can’t see or understand why players need rest.
    I know they play at a faster pace now, but the sports science & their travelling from city to city has improved so much that playing the games without a rest should be a piece of cake for them, no excuses just play.

    • I’d say that’s not entirely true. The clubs that have the depth tend to go for it most tournaments. The problem is not many have that kind of depth, and the threat of relegation as well as bonus of top 4/6 are too much to risk.

      • x%sure

        True, but… The goal is popularity, and that declines every year with the FA trny & such.

        What some fans want to see more of is the young players; there’s almost a separate market for that. The NBA should give them something if they want to do something extra.

    • snotrocket

      What he fails to realize is that most Americans don’t care about soccer, or Europe.

  5. x%sure

    I don’t see a plausible razzle-dazzle play for NBA scheduling outside of a 1on1 trny.

  6. imbigdaddybob

    Minor league baseball has a first half winner and a second half winner. A mini tournament (8 teams) could be played at the end or the first and second half’s. Seeding is based on how they finish in the tournaments.

    To make it more interesting have 3 trade deadlines, each a month or so prior to the tournaments.

  7. hiflew

    Here’s an idea. Just add 2 expansion teams and have a 32 team tournament and just eliminate the regular season altogether. A best of 3 series in the first round can determine who gets into the “playoffs.” The losers don’t get paid that season. Half the teams seem like they aren’t interested in playing anyway, so why not just go with that.

  8. signal_lost

    If you look at how good entertainment companies market they generally try to create ‘events’. Like Disney is about to launch their 50th anniversary at Disney World where they’re going to overlay the castle with some special design and have extra fireworks and open a few new rides and hype, hype, hype. And guess what, whether you like that kind of thing or not lots of people are going to hear about it at try it.
    So, it the NBA tries a mid-season tournament, they should approach it that way. It’s special. Maybe even one time only. I think that if you don’t like the idea of the tourny then you really need to specify why it would be bad for the game.
    To make it real, though, there must be a proper incentive. Money is not good enough, management would not buy in. But some money (you should get paid for making the league more money) and a playoff incentive would get management and player buy in if it’s good enough.
    Here’s my idea, a round robin tournament of teams only within divisions. The reward for winning would be guaranteed home court in any playoff series against other teams in the same division in the playoffs at the end of the season.

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