If you thought the NBA was innovative in the way they resumed the 2019-20 NBA season, wait until you read about how they're attempting to start the upcoming 2020-21 season.
"The NBA has indicated to the league's GMs that next year's schedule could be condensed in order to try to keep the league as close to its usual timeline as possible," Atlanta Hawks General manager told ESPN's Tim Bontemps.
This reported effort by the NBA to keep the league "as close to its usual timeline as possible," would be quite tricky to work through, especially if the NBA's primary focus is to protect its players.
A shortened season, starting on December 1st, wouldn't give teams who participated in a lengthy postseason run in Orlando, a reasonable rest period. Remember, Game 7 of the NBA Finals, if needed, would be October 12th.
In addition to a quick turnaround for teams involved in a deep postseason run, in order to operate under a condensed schedule, there would be the implementation of more back-to-back games as well as sets of four games in five nights, Bontemps reported.
When the NBA announced its 2019-20 schedule back in May of last year, it featured earlier tipoffs and fewer back-to-backs. "It's something that I think we have to address," commissioner Adam Silver said.
Heading into this season, for the fifth straight year, the NBA discovered methods to lower the average number of times a team has to play on consecutive days. The league average this season was 12.4 back-to-backs, down from 13.3 last season and 36 percent down from the average of 19.3 five years ago.
While a December 1 start is being discussed, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the proposed is "unlikely," and all dates are "fluid."
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