Just a few short hours ago, the NBA released its finalized schedule for the upcoming 2011-2012 season. With five games being played on Christmas Day to open the 2011-12 campaign, one could expect it to only get crazier from there on.
Rightfully so, if you’ve had a chance to see who your team will play against this coming year. Playing 66 games on a very condensed schedule may prove to be rough on a good number of players. As stated by ESPN, “the compacted schedule will require every team to play on three consecutive nights at least once.”
Be on the lookout for plenty of injuries this season, especially when teams start going on long, arduous road trips. Take the Chicago Bulls for example: seven of their first ten games are away from home. Okay, you might be saying, that can’t all be that bad. Nothing out of the ordinary. They’ll make it up in the following weeks.
Take a look further down the schedule and you reach a stretch of 9 straight road games played across the country in a two week span. That just screams out, “We’re going to have injuries. I hope this won’t hurt us in the long run!” Other teams will have varying lengths of road trips, but the fact remains that players will have less time to rest and relax between games; spending a great deal of time away from their home court hung up by injuries is not how you nor anyone else wants to have things play out.
I’m all for this season coming to fruition. I’m happy to see both the players and owners come to terms with a new collective bargaining deal, in order to get a basketball season up and running this year. I’m just worried that cramming in 66 games into this time frame, will have adverse effects on players both short and long term. Especially since, during Christmas time in season’s past, there would be roughly 54 to 55 games in the season left.
Maybe it’s for the money, maybe it’s for the fans. But the players and coaches should be watching out for themselves, or they will soon find their franchises will have neither. Let us know what you think.