Because the lockout cut all the way deep into November, the NBA will be force to re-do the current schedule. Now, the season will consist of 66 games piled basically into a four and a half month window.
Everyone wants details and finally, a few have found their way out. Via the New York Times, here are a couple scheduling notes:
- The schedule will run Dec. 25 to April 26.
- Teams will average 3.9 games a week, up from the usual 3.5. That equals about two extra games a month.
- Each team will play at least one back-to-back-to-back. The max number of back-to-back-to-backs a team could play is three.
- Teams will play 48 in-conference games, which is four fewer than normal, and 18 out-of-conference games. Because of that arrangement, not all teams will visit each city. Which is a bummer.
- Here's a potentially important note: Every second-round playoff series will feature one back-to-back set of games. This is to try and shorten the playoffs since the regular season will be expanding a week and a half. In terms of quality of play at the most important time, having a back-to-back in the postseason is huge. Way to go, lockout.
For the most part, the new schedule won't be all that ridiculous. Not like the 50-game schedule in 1999, at least. Typically, 82 games are squeezed into roughly 165 days. This season, 66 will be pushed into about 120. Two extra games per month isn't that heavy, but the set of back-to-back-to-back games won't be fun.
Any time players are overworked, injuries and quality of play become issues, but that's just the breaks at this point. Yes, the league could have decided to go with 60 or 56 games instead, but getting the max amount of games into a season not only means everyone makes more money, but the season has a bit more credibility to it.
The most important thing: There actually is a schedule.