The 2014-2015 NBA schedule is finally here. The most glaring and revelatory takeaway? That the league has extended the All-Star break to a full week this season. This comes on the heels of a report from late July that commissioner Adam Silver was considering this very action due to overwhelming encouragement from the players to do so.
NBA's experiment with extended All-Star break worked into '14-'15 schedule. For teams, minimum break between games is 8 days; some longer.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 13, 2014
An eight-day break – it’s like an actual break! – is a far cry from what teams have received in the past. LeBron James, for instance, hit a game-winning three-pointer as the clock expired in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors on February 12 of last season. He had All-Star obligations in New Orleans on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before flying to Dallas on Monday for a game against the Mavericks on Tuesday night. That’s a full schedule, and hardly comes close to constituting a midseason recess.
This season, however, LeBron will have time to actually get some rest and prepare for the regular season’s stretch run. Regular play will be suspended on February 12 after the Chicago Bulls host James’ Cleveland Cavaliers on a primetime stage, and won’t resume until one week later. As Wojnarowski notes, all teams will have at least eight days between their last pre-break game and first post-break match-up. Indeed, the Cavaliers won’t play again until February 20 at the Washington Wizards.
LeBron and the league’s other stars will still have a busy weekend in New York City in mid-February. The value of those three days off in between Sunday’s All-Star game and when play resumes on Thursday, though, could prove immeasurable. League followers know all too well the doldrums of play associated with late February and early March hoops. With players getting a crucial few extra days of mental and physical rest, perhaps the inevitable dip in performance given the regular season’s grind won’t be as severe.
And as much we love the NBA, a little break for fans isn’t a bad thing, either. An 82-game season is surely almost as hard to religiously follow from the couch as it is to actually play, right?
Are you glad the All-Star break has been lengthened?
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