NBA Notes (March 23rd)
Could the NBA regular season end a couple of weeks earlier?
The season now ends on April 20 and the playoffs begin April 23.
If the regular season ended on April 6 it would fit nicely with hoopla that surrounds the NCAA’s men’s Final Four plus the NBA’s playoffs could begin April 9.
This maneuver would reduce the regular season from the current 82 games to 74.
Would this provide for more meaningful late season games, and more inspired play?
Approximately one-third of the league is realistically out of the playoff picture. They have lost a combined 500 games. Who wants to watch New Orleans and Atlanta square off?
Another large group are heading into the playoffs and are trying to stave off the threat of injuries. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan has sprained his ankle twice in the last two weeks, and may not play again this regular season. The second sprain may not have even occurred if the season ended April 9. Obviously the loss of a key player can severely jeopardize a team’s quest for a championship. Ray Allen of Seattle is a similar example.
The most interesting games now belong to a few teams battling for the 8th and final playoff spot.
In summary, with approximately a month left in the NBA regular season, many of the games have hardly any value to the fans.
Would this severely reduce revenue for the league?
No. Of the thirty teams in the league only a select few consistently fill the seats of their arenas. And by the beginning of March many sports fans are preparing for baseball, golf, and auto racing. The NBA teams would be better off keeping the fan’s interest and selling tickets to those already empty seats. In addition teams have two weeks of expenses off the books.
Plus, with the NBA finals ending just past mid-May instead of going into June, television ratings could be better equating into a more lucrative TV contract.