In the beginning of a college semester, the professor hands out their syllabi to their students. On most if not all campuses, the standard number of classes one can miss is three or four. Most students already have it programmed in their mind that they are going to miss the allotted number of classes because, college is college. If excused, it won’t affect their grade. If the student puts in the work, those three classes will not matter.
The same principle in some way can be applied to the NBA right now. The Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs have over 50 wins, which guarantees a clinch in the this year’s NBA playoffs. They put in the work, reached the number of wins to clinch a spot, and now all they have to do is keep winning so they can maintain a high seed. At the end of the day, however, some can sit some games out to the fact that their seeding won’t be affected.
Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich is known for resting his players. Recently, LeBron James has done it, and now it’s a problem. Why is that? Is it because it is a no-brainer that the Spurs are a first class organization of winning and no one really cares as much to see them play compared to LeBron? The answer might be just that, so what should happen?
Unless one is a die-hard NBA fan, most fans will not give the NBA their undivided attention until the playoffs. One reason is because of the long season. It cuts into the NFL season, and takes over college basketball season, so it is time for the season to shorten a bit.
Shortening the season will definitely not be music to the ears of most owners and television partners. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr stated that he would not mind a pay cut for a shorter season, but he is only one person.
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) March 23, 2017
Looking at college football, one or two losses keeps a team from the playoffs. They play only twelve games, so every single game counts. The same goes with the NFL. Those 16 games are not as strict as college football, but common teams and division wins are always the biggest factor in determining which team will head to the playoffs.
Shortening the NBA season would certainly make the season more competitive to the point where players can’t rest because they are needed. This ultimately adds certainly that they will play, because they do not have to worry about the 82-game schedule.
If the season cannot be shortened, another solution would be to rest for home games. When teams play on the road, they should respect those fans who may only get to see them once per year. Another solution could be to limit the back-to-back games and long stretches of road games. 5-day road trips and back to backs are not all that necessary, so that can definitely be taken into consideration moving forward.
Now, this topic will lead to a lot of slippery slope questions and answers, but the main theme is to simply shorten the NBA season so the league can become higher quality down the road.