For a couple of seasons now, under Commissioner Adam Silver’s direction, the NBA has looked for ways to improve the regular-season product. The playoffs work, they have plenty of drama, but the marathon of an 82-game regular season can lead to some tired players and flat play.
Once again the NBA is trying to adjust to that, something evidenced by the drop of the full NBA season schedule on Friday. Here are a few notes along those lines:
• No team has a four-games-in-five-nights stretch.
• Teams will averaged just 1.2 five-games-in-seven-nights stretch (something most teams had three of just a few years back).
• No team has eight-games-in-12-nights for the first time in NBA history.
• Back-to-backs are reduced to an average of 13.3 per team (meaning just under one-third of most team’s games are on one of a back-to-back). For comparison, that was at 14.4 last season, and four seasons ago a lot of teams had 20 back-to-backs (nearly half the schedule).
That’s all good. Coaches are still going to rest players and give them nights off, but that will happen less often now. Also, the league is pressuring teams not to rest players in big nationally televised games (and most of the time, when a team plays on TNT Thursday or an ABC weekend game, they will be coming off a day or two of rest). This is good for the longevity of players, and just for the level of play.