Breaking Down the 2017 NBA Schedule Changes

The NBA is attempting to make things easier for teams, travel and marquee players when it comes to a scheduling standpoint. The league has recently sent a memo to all the teams outlining the 2017 NBA schedule changes that they have made for the upcoming season.  They are very interesting to say the least.

Recently the 2017 NBA regular season win totals Over/Under for every team and as expected the Warriors and the Cavaliers were the favorites to meet in the NBA Finals (unless Kyrie Irving is traded), but that could all change with the new schedule changes.

2017 NBA Schedule Changes

Here is a look at the highlights of the changes that are going to be made.

  • Eliminating stretches of four games in five days and 18 games in 30 days.
  • Reduction of five games in seven nights to just 40 instances across (1.3 per team), down from last year when it was on the schedule 90 times (three per team).
  • 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.

What Does it All Mean?

On the surface it looks as though the NBA is giving the players and the teams exactly what they want. More rest, less hectic travel and the ability to keep their players healthy during the regular season. However, the NBA is doing many different things with this schedule that could change the face of the game altogether.

Breaking Down the 2017 NBA Schedule Changes

Breaking Down the 2017 NBA Schedule Changes

Taking on the NFL

The biggest takeaway from the changes that stood out above the rest is that the NBA now believes that they can compete with football. They are staring the season earlier and they are pumping up the games on the weekend, to include marquee games with the league’s best players. Since the NBA is winning the off-season for both sports up to this point, they now believe that they could compete with one of the most popular sports in the world. This is a calculated risk that could pay off for the league.

Sending a Message to the Stars

This is also a big red flare to the big named players (and coaches) in the league. The NBA commissioner and the league are putting the onus on the team to not rest their players. This is especially true for the big televised games on TNT and ESPN. If players want to sit out (and they will) they better not to it when they are on national television. It’s all about teh brand and all about the Benjamins.

All Bets Are Off

Many people that bet on basketball will have to look for new angles. The schedule played a big role in finding weaknesses in teams especially when they played in four games in five nights. The same could be said for single game road trips and five games in seven night stretches. This is a minor outcome of the 2017 NBA schedule changes but there is one big thing that deserves attention. That is parody.

Improving Parody in the League

This may be the biggest change to the 2017 NBA Schedule. This change should help teams that are not very good. put out an article last year in December that illustrated how teams do in back-to-back games. They illustrated that teams that had a record above .500 did not struggle as much in back-to-back games, well because they are good enough. Teams that had a record below .500 lost 11% more of the time quick turnaround games. The decrease in back-to-back games should help bad teams.