The NBA released the regular season schedule for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday. Michael Lee of The Washington Post made a few suggestions on how the NBA schedule could be better. We take a look at the feasibility of all five recommendations.
Here are Lee’s suggestions: a two-day tournament at the end of the season for lottery teams to play for the right to the first overall pick, adding in a strength of schedule component to team’s schedules, fewer back-to-backs, more home-and-home series and an outdoor classic.
Let’s start with the two-day tournament. The premise is sound because it helps do away with the incentive for teams to tank their entire season, which make a lot of games on the schedule completely unwatchable. The league is already aware of this, as they’re in the process of pushing through a reform to the lottery process that will discourage teams from throwing away entire seasons. But teams should not be punished for being terrible, because there will be times when teams simply lose a lot of games because of injuries to their star players. In this case, those lottery teams would most likely have no chance of winning this tournament, and have to go through an entire season of horror without a reward at the end of it.
The strength of schedule component is very interesting, because it creates the parity that the league most likely craves. In this scenario, top teams from previous seasons would play a tougher schedule, whereas teams from the bottom would have a chance to win more games through the strength of playing worse teams over the 82-game schedule. The best part about this idea is that it would also make it harder for teams to tank.
Fewer back-to-backs sounds great in theory, but would also create a scheduling nightmare. By implementing this change, the season would likely have to end at a later date, which would drag out the often anti-climatic nature of the regular season even more. But the idea of more home-and-home series is brilliant. In the regular season, games that pique our interest are those where two teams have a genuine dislike for one another. These rivalries will manifest themselves if teams see each other for consecutive games over a short period of time. It will make the games more interesting, and add more importance to the regular season.
Lastly, the outdoor classic sounds cool and the league would surely do a great job of marketing the event. In fact, if the league really wanted to push this idea, future All-Star Games could be held outdoors, to really help promote the game to the global audience.
All of Lee’s ideas have merit, and it would be interesting to see them considered and implemented to some degree. After all, we can all agree that the regular season, while entertaining at times, can feel like a long, exhausting exercise in waiting for the playoffs to begin.
What do you think?
Follow steven lebron on Twitter at @steven_lebron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE