The NBA will experiment with a 44-minute game in this Sunday’s preseason contest between the Nets and the Celtics, in what is widely viewed as a compromised attempt to help reduce wear and tear on the league’s biggest stars.
The real answer, of course, would be to reduce the number of regular season games that currently appear on the 82-game schedule. But since the owners aren’t in a hurry to give up all of the revenue that would be associated with doing so, this is a creative attempt at an alternative option.
There have been plenty of opinions on the matter to this point, and Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek provided yet another one on Thursday. Essentially, he believes (much like Pacers coach Frank Vogel does) that shortening the games could potentially have the opposite of the desired effect.
“I think it was brought up that it could save the legs of the stars,” Hornacek said Thursday. “Then somebody else made the point, well, the shorter game is going to make the beginning more important. If all of a sudden the rest of the game is going to be more important, you’re probably going to lean to playing those stars more now, because you don’t have the time to make it up.”
Even if the stars didn’t play more as Hornacek suggests, it’s unlikely that they’d play any less — making Vogel’s point about managing minutes for his reserves all the more valid.
Nets head coach Lionel Hollins said that the shorter game idea was about television, and the league’s broadcast partners wanting to fit them into an allotted time slot.
There are probably multiple reasons fueling this idea, and shorter games in general aren’t likely to impact the quality of the product on the floor in a negative fashion. But this also isn’t likely to address the very real issue of the game’s better players being overworked during the course of the regular season.