Later today, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will play the much-talked-about 44-minute preseason game. The NBA’s announcement that they’re experimenting with a shorter game length has sparked discussion all over the league, with stars such as LeBron James and Damian Lillard chiming in to say that they should instead look at shortening the regular-season schedule.
You can add Carmelo Anthony’s name to that list. From ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:
“I don’t know if that will ever happen, but that’s the dream,” Anthony said after practice Saturday. “Maybe it will happen 10 years from now when I’m out of the league.”
To Anthony, the issue doesn’t lie as much with the minutes in a game than it does with the amount of back-to-backs.
“You go on a road trip and you come back, and you’re gone for 10, 11 days 12 days, and you’ve got a back-to-back the last two days, it’s always that last game that someway, somehow we always seem to get a TV game that last game. So it affects you,” he said.
He’s got a point. The back-to-backs can wear on players (the Knicks have 20 this season), which can cause more injuries and an overall poorer quality of play if guys are tired. A shorter schedule would allow for more rest days and better games, at least in theory.
Unfortunately, the only way to make this a reality would be for both the league and the players to agree to fewer games, which sounds great in theory but would involve both sides giving up money. That’s unlikely, at least on the surface. But with the amount of talk about it the the last week, maybe it will reach the point where the two sides decide that it’s worthwhile to do something. Don’t bet on it anytime soon.