By Jesse Reed
Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin believes the NBA needs to scale its regular-season schedule back in order to offer “a better product” for the fans.
Speaking with Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Griffin expressed a thoughtful answer to the question of how long the NBA regular season should be.
“Sixty-six, spread over the same amount of time [as the current 82-game season],” Griffin said. “Fatigue and injuries, and better product. If you have less games, less back-to-backs, the product’s better. The fans will appreciate it more. You see those college guys playing so hard, but they play 36 games in the same amount of time we play 82 almost. I just think it would be a better product.”
Obviously, Griffin had thought about this before Berger asked the question.
And truthfully, he’s got a great point. Because of the brutal schedule, many teams go for stretches without giving it their all. Furthermore, some teams like the San Antonio Spurs will often sit their starters during regular-season games to give them the rest they need to stay fresh for the playoffs.
By cutting the season by about 20 percent, which is Griffin’s suggestion, teams wouldn’t need to rest their starters.
And, perhaps those teams that sleepwalk through the first part of the season wouldn’t be inclined to do the same with a shorter schedule. With a shorter schedule there would be less room for error, meaning every game would count that much more.
The NBA likely won’t heed Griffin’s thoughtful advice. Money is too much of an influence, and every game brings in revenue for the owners. However, the Association would be smart to at least kick the tires on such an idea, because the current schedule produces some yawn-inducing stinkers during the regular season.