Report: NBA trying to implement rest days before nationally televised games
NBA commissioner Adam Silver practically confirmed the 2016-17 season would start Oct. 17 – the earliest start date (by eight days) in 37 years. That will allow the league to spread 82 games per team over a longer period, offering more rest days.
Some of those off days will be reserved for the day prior to nationally televised games.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
One more sked wrinkle: league trying hard to have teams in marquee national TV games (ABC Saturday) both coming off a rest day, sources say.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 12, 2017
This is a good idea, but hardly foolproof.
Travel and arena conflicts will arise. The league should also try to ensure nationally televised games are followed by rest days, because teams don’t always pick the second game over the first game of a back-to-back for resting. Games will get flexed onto national television later in the season, and those won’t necessarily include teams with ideal surrounding schedules.
The rest issue isn’t going away, but this is a small step the NBA can take on the margins to improve the product when it matters most – when the most people are watching.