The NBA has sent a memo to teams with the league's plans for approaching this season's schedule, and it includes plan to curtail marquee names resting during national broadcasts.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the NBA plans to eliminate back-to-back games preceding national TV games. The league has also removed instances of teams playing four games in five nights, and playing 18 games over the span of 30 days. The season will start a week earlier than usual, giving the league more space to spread out games.
There have also been some other minor changes:
• Reduction in number of back-to-backs to 14.9 per team, down from 16.3 per team. In all, 40 back-to-backs have been eliminated from last season.
• Reduction of single-game road trips by 17 percent.
• Reduction in single-game road trips over 2,000 miles by 67 percent; there are only 11 of them on schedule.
• Increase in weekend games from 549 to 568, much of the boost coming on Saturdays. Previously the NBA avoided Saturdays and Sunday afternoons during football season to dodge conflicts.
The big moves here are the reduction in back-to-back games and the increase in weekend matchups. The NBA already has added a marquee Saturday night matchup on ABC, and it looks like it's more than willing to continue going into the weekend at earlier points in the season.
The NBA schedule should be finished sometime this week and released shortly thereafter.