The NBA has reportedly eliminated several old scheduling practices to ensure teams will have more rest built into their schedules for the 2017-18 season.
According to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, a memo sent to teams by the league office confirmed there will no longer be stretches that include four games in five nights. There will also be fewer back-to-backs this season with an average of 14.9 per team.
Windhorst reported teams previously played an average of 16.3 back-to-backs per season.
Those moves come after the NBA decided to start the 2017-18 campaign nearly two weeks earlier so it had the flexibility to give players more time to heal and avoid its biggest stars from resting for nationally televised games.
In March, commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to teams stating rest was “an extremely significant issue for our league” after the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors sat their star players for prime-time Saturday showdowns on ABC last season, according to NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner.
“We [at] the league office can do a better job at looking at, obviously, the prior night in terms of back-to-back, but also the several days leading up to that game so that players are at peak performance for those games,” Silver later said, per Aschburner.
With more rest built into the schedule, the NBA has reportedly decided to add 19 weekend games to next season’s slate, with the bulk of those games coming on Saturdays, per Windhorst.
The NBA has not yet announced when the 2017-18 schedule will be released, but Windhorst reported Tuesday it’s “expected to be finalized this week and portions are expected to be announced soon.”
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