Report: NBA nearly eliminates four-games-in-five-nights in draft of 2015-16 schedule

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver made reducing the number of four-games-in-five-nights a priority.

Barring some late revisions, he has succeeded.

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

Here’s a history of four-in-fives since the NBA began:

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Year Team games 4 in 5s Percentage of team games that are 4 in 5s
2015 2460 70 2.8%
2014 2460 64 2.6%
2013 2458 76 3.1%
2012 1980 218 11.0%
2011 2460 68 2.8%
2010 2460 80 3.3%
2009 2460 72 2.9%
2008 2460 78 3.2%
2007 2460 90 3.7%
2006 2460 81 3.3%
2005 2460 90 3.7%
2004 2378 88 3.7%
2003 2378 102 4.3%
2002 2378 106 4.5%
2001 2378 101 4.2%
2000 2378 101 4.2%
1999 1450 218 15.0%
1998 2378 75 3.2%
1997 2378 91 3.8%
1996 2378 90 3.8%
1995 2214 99 4.5%
1994 2214 87 3.9%
1993 2214 103 4.7%
1992 2214 120 5.4%
1991 2214 120 5.4%
1990 2214 119 5.4%
1989 2050 122 6.0%
1988 1886 87 4.6%
1987 1886 100 5.3%
1986 1886 123 6.5%
1985 1886 131 6.9%
1984 1886 137 7.3%
1983 1886 149 7.9%
1982 1886 137 7.3%
1981 1886 182 9.7%
1980 1804 175 9.7%
1979 1804 168 9.3%
1978 1804 183 10.1%
1977 1804 218 12.1%
1976 1476 172 11.7%
1975 1476 173 11.7%
1974 1394 213 15.3%
1973 1394 215 15.4%
1972 1394 251 18.0%
1971 1394 292 20.9%
1970 1148 258 22.5%
1969 1148 273 23.8%
1968 984 251 25.5%
1967 810 208 25.7%
1966 720 177 24.6%
1965 720 184 25.6%
1964 720 212 29.4%
1963 720 197 27.4%
1962 720 246 34.2%
1961 632 209 33.1%
1960 600 194 32.3%
1959 576 161 28.0%
1958 576 151 26.2%
1957 576 154 26.7%
1956 576 207 35.9%
1955 576 212 36.8%
1954 648 183 28.2%
1953 702 164 23.4%
1952 660 104 15.8%
1951 708 103 14.5%
1950 1122 211 18.8%
1949 720 62 8.6%
1948 384 16 4.2%
1947 662 26 3.9%

Those two spikes were due to lockouts in 1999 and 2011, the NBA trying to cram as many games into a shorter window as possible. Otherwise, the league has done a good job reducing the number of four-in-fives.

But 70 four-in-fives in a season is still too many if it can be avoided. Those rough stretches tire players, put them at greater risk of injury and therefore worsen the product. Fans don’t want to watch their favorite players rest, sit out injured or play sluggishly.

If this schedule draft gets approved, that would prove this issue was solvable. It probably should have been fixed sooner.

Kudos to Silver, though, for – nearly – getting it done. Now, it’s time to finalize the solution.

Next: Reducing the number of back-to-backs – or at least giving all teams a similar number.