Good morning, paper clips (just looking at random crap on my desk right now),
The topic of this fanpost is something that I've actually pondered for the last two or three years. However, because of the lockout and everybody scrambling to figure out how we can still squeeze in 82 games somehow, I think this is the best time to share my crackpot ideas.
Jared Zwerling speculated this morning that the NBA can still finagle 82 games out of the calendar. Such speculations are meant to bring the fans hope and optimism...
... but is an 82 game schedule really the best thing for basketball?
Let me be clear, I absolutely ADORE NBA Basketball.
That being said, I propose that the NBA reduce the amount of games in its regular season, lockout or no lockout.
It is my belief that a regular season with fewer games would result in a higher quality of basketball.
Here are some reasons:
1. The last month of the season is filled with meaningless games anyway. You've got some teams tanking for a spot in the lottery, and others jockeying for particular seedings and playoff matchups. But for the most part, for the last month of the season, all the fans are like, "Ahhh! Can the playoffs just freakin' get here already!"
What about those exciting playoff races that stay neck and neck down to the last game of the season? Have no fear, not only will we still have those, but we'll have more of them. Less games means every race will be tighter. The end of the regular season will be frenzy of excitement for many more teams, and I think it would be great for the sport.
which leads me to...
2. Each game will count for more. When fans reflect back on an NBA season, we have a tendency to remember the incredible and forget the bland and mundane. We think of buzzer-beaters, posterizations, come from behind wins, record setting nights, and Ronny Turiafs hilarious hi-jinx on the bench. But we forget how many awful nights there were as well. Nights where one team just didn't show up. Nights where both teams just jack jumpshots and go through the motions until the buzzer sounds. Foul-Festival Nights complete with parades to the free-throw lines, and Chinua Achebe.
Why do those nights happen? Because an 82 game season is a marathon. I don't blame the players. I don't care how much money you paid me, I simply physically could not go hard for 82 games. Veteran players understand this.
I hate those close-minded cow poke sounding good 'ol boys who are always saying, "College basketball is so much better than the NBA. College players actually love the game and they play harder. College is more exciting."
What bunch of crappy crap crap! (I also need to write a fanpost on college versus NBA)
But college basketball has the appearance of being more exciting because they have a sprint while we have a marathon. I'm not saying we should have a sprint also. But we certainly don't need to beat NBA players to death with a month of meaningless games.
3. Speaking of beating NBA players to death, lets talk about health. You always here analysts, coaches, and players saying, "Well, at this point in the season, nobody is really 100% right now." It's cliche but it's true.
Why wear down a player's health, and then say, "Okay, now jump in the post-season and play harder than ever."
I think with a shorter season we'd see fewer injuries, and even better... players careers would be longer! Now that is truly a long-term result that deserves some consideration. I think EVERYONE (players, owners, fans) would be happy to see players play at a high level a little longer, and not start breaking down at age 30.
So what kind of season am I proposing?
How about a 60 game season? But because I love basketball, I would want it to be spread out over the same part of the calender as the current season. Just give the players more days off between the games.
Think about it, NFL only plays once a week, and there fans don't seem to think the season is boring.
We could have games at least twice a week, and it would still be an exciting season.
Think of it like this: You can go have a great dish at your favorite Italian Restaurant(60 games), or you can go to an all-you-can-eat buffet of Ramen Noodles and Hot Pockets (82 game schedule)
I think everyone wins with a shorter regular season schedule. What do you guys think?