Quality Of Play During Shortened NBA Season Continues To Be An Issue Among The Media
The "ridiculous pace of the post-lockout season has assured that NBA owners will get 33 of their usual 41 home dates to ease the hit on their precious bottom line," but the "rest of us are paying for it," according to Mark Potash of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Potash writes, "Too many games. Not enough practice. Too many injuries. Not enough days off. Did NBA owners really think their product wouldn’t suffer by forcing teams to play 25 or more regular-season games in 58 days after training camp opened -- after having no organized offseason activities and two preseason games?" While the money is "rolling in again," owners are "facing a quality-control issue they don’t want to hear about: The bad teams are getting worse, and the good teams aren’t getting any better." NBA Commissioner David Stern’s "mistake was rushing into the marketable Christmas Day opening tip." He "should’ve insisted on a normal training camp and preseason, followed by a 50- to 54-game season." Potash: "The shame is that the owners weren’t willing to pay their share of the price for the lockout" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/8). In Cleveland, Tom Reed wrote, "Welcome to the post-lockout NBA, where all the Blake Griffin dunk highlights in the world cannot cover for the overall poor quality of play." The league and the players union "should have opted for a more manageable schedule instead of cramming 66 games into 123 days." But everybody "wanted their money." Reed: "The good news is the television ratings are strong and fans appear willing to overlook some errant passes and missed jumpers" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/5). The Chicago Tribune's Bob Foltman said, "This schedule is killing these players and it’s hurting the product. I think the NBA has done a complete disservice to its product with the way that they’re running this season” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 2/6).
NEED A REPLAY: The NBA acknowledged that official Scott Foster made an incorrect goaltending call during the fourth quarter of the Thunder-Trail Blazers game Monday that cost the Blazers two points on the way to an OT loss. The call currently cannot be reviewed during the game, and in Portland, John Canzano writes the Blazers got what "amounts to an apology from the league office." However, what everyone "deserved was a league that is willing to stop the action, take a look at a replay, and make sure that the outcome is what [it] should be." Canzano: "I'm hopeful that what we have today is a league that knows it needs to join the modern sports world." Meanwhile, Canzano writes the NBA has a "credibility problem anyway when it comes to game officiating." The Tim Donaghy gambling scandal "hasn't gone away," and Stern "hasn't done enough to restore the confidence of consumers in his product." Canzano asks, "So if there's a league that should be interested in casting light in dark places and ensuring that the games are called fairly, shouldn't it be the NBA?" (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/8).