Fixing the NBA Schedule

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:36 pm
I saw Ringo's post on fixing salaries and I thought about sharing my ideas on how to fix the NBA schedule.

Here are the biggest problems that I have with the NBA schedule (and here are my solutions).

Problem: The NBA schedule is too long and boring. Players do not put as much effort into regular season games as they do in the playoff. Compared to the effort found in the post season, the regular season seems like players are playing at 75% (rather than 100). This is a big problem. I can't blame the players because 82 games is a lot of wear and tear to the body. In baseball, although there are 162 games, there is a rotation of starting pitchers every 5 games, meaning each starting pitcher really plays only 33 games (so you see a great effort every game). Same with football. There are so little games in the NFL (16) in the regular season, each game matters, so you see 100% effort.

Solution: Change and Shrink the NBA regular season to spice up begin to create more rivalries. This is a long and complex thought, so bare with me.

First, permanently change the schedule to 74 games each season. It won't be as cramped as this season was, but the number remains the same. Why 66? 6 games versus every team in the division each year (24 games total), and 2 games against everyone else (50 games). This way, owners and fans are happy everyone gets to see every team at least once, and the value against divisional opponents stands out a bit more (a third of the season).

Second, owners are going to be a bit disappointed they are losing 8 games of revenue during the season. How do you make up that revenue? By creating a 5 round, 32-team tournament (NBA Cup?) that either coincides with the season (preferably), or is held in the offseason. We see this in Europe with soccer leagues and it is a great way for teams are struggling in the regular season to strike some luck and a chance to go far in a tournament. Now there are only 30 teams in the NBA, so where do the other 2 teams come from? I am thinking you can either bring in the top 2 D-league teams from the season past, 2 international clubs, or (though unlikely to happen) 2 college teams. The format for this tournament can be a best of 3 series throughout (meaning everyone will at least get a home game each round). This tournament will bring quality basketball that is missing throughout the regular season. Fans of losing teams of the regular season will still come out to see their team if they are in this tournament. So even though there are 8 games less of the regular season, teams that make it to the finals can potentially play 10-15 more games.

Third: Return the NBA playoffs back to a best of 5 series in the first round. You don't need another 7 game series. We do not begin to see intriguing matchups until the second round of the playoffs anyway. Save a game or 2 from these players, make that round go a bit quicker, so the bulk of the attention is for the second round and beyond. Also, the league needs to be more consistent with rest between games in one matchup then with another. This year, i saw match-ups where they had a couple of back to backs, and no 2 days of rest versus others where teams had a game on Wednesday and the next one was on Sunday. A bit unfair if you ask me. Take away all back to back games in the playoffs. Each game in every series should only have 1 day of rest in between them except once where there can be a 2 day rest period (again, only once, so it is fair with other series); naturally, a two day rest should occur during a travel period only (so after game 2 or 4 makes the most sense).

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