NBA Releases Revised 66-Game Schedule To Begin On Christmas Day
Pending approval of a new CBA, the NBA regular season is scheduled to start on Dec. 25 with three games -- Celtics-Knicks, Heat-Mavericks and Bulls-Lakers. The league released an outline for the shortened 66-game regular season that will extend it until April 26 with the playoffs beginning two days later. Also, there is a possibility of back-to-back games during the second round of the playoffs and each team will have at least one but no more than three back-to-back-to-back games during the regular season. The following is a breakdown of the season schedule (NBA).
|'11-12 NBA SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN|
|Regular Season Start Date||12/25/11|
|Regular Season End Date||04/26/12|
|Playoffs Start Date||04/28/12|
|Last Possible Finals Date||06/26/12|
COMPRESSING THE SCHEDULE: CBSSPORTS.com’s Royce Young noted teams “will average 3.9 games a week, up from the usual 3.5,” and which equals “about two extra games a month.” Young wrote for the “most part, the new schedule won't be all that ridiculous” (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/27). In L.A., Mike Bresnahan notes the NBA yesterday acknowledged that “each team must endure at least one of the dreaded back-to-back-to-back situations” during the regular season. Each team “will play 48 conference games and 18 non-conference games,” and teams “will not travel to every NBA arena.” The “last possible date for the NBA Finals is June 26, about two weeks later than usual” (L.A. TIMES, 11/28). NBA.com’s John Schuhmann noted the league “decided to maintain a schedule that leans heavy toward intra-conference games.” A total of 990 games over 119 days “works out to 8.3 games per day.” Schuhmann: “Such a fast pace isn't ideal. But obviously, maximizing each team's revenue and each player's salary is the bigger priority” (NBA.com, 11/27). In Oklahoma City, John Rohde wrote opening the season on Christmas Day was “a wise decision and an obvious choice,” but where the league “got it wrong was scheduling only three games on opening day.” Rather than “cater solely to the major markets, the league should have included everybody” (NEWSOK.com, 11/27).
ALL-STAR GAME STATUS: NBA VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank said that the All-Star Game in Orlando “would be played Feb. 26, as scheduled.” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “I’m certainly pleased” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/27). In DC, Carla Peay noted it is “likely that the league will try” and get the All Star game in (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/27). Meanwhile, in Orlando, Josh Robbins reported the Magic-Nets London games scheduled for March 7-8 in the O2 Arena “are probably toast -- at least for the upcoming season.” The NBA “probably -- and understandably -- would face criticism from officials in Newark, N.J., for taking two more games out of Prudential Center during the lockout-shortened season” (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 11/27).