NBA starts early trying to avoid back-to-backs and implement player friendly scheduling
October 17, 2017 3:00 AM
by Andy Iskoe
VIP Bettin' On B-Ball | Due to concerns about the rigors of the long 82-game regular season and the increasing tendency in recent seasons for teams to rest star players, often several at a time, the NBA is starting the 2017-18 season a couple of weeks earlier than in the past.
Due to concerns about the rigors of the long 82-game regular season and the increasing tendency in recent seasons for teams to rest star players, often several at a time, the NBA is starting the 2017-18 season a couple of weeks earlier than in the past.
In crafting this season’s schedule specific attention has been paid to spacing out games and avoiding back-to-back games as much as possible. Not only will this lessen the necessity of resting players on a less than infrequent basis it will also improve the overall quality of play with players much more rested, collectively, as a result of the improved scheduling dynamics.
Opening last May as 5-8 favorites to win a second straight (third in four seasons) NBA title, Golden State was an even larger favorite as of last week at 5-12. Cleveland was the obvious second choice at 4-1 with no other team held at lower than the 10-1 odds for Boston.
Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio are each 16-1 with Washington next at 40-1. That’s right, 24 of the NBA’s 30 teams are at odds of 40-1 or higher with the longest of the longshots at 1000-1. That dubious distinction is shared between Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, the New York Knicks and Orlando.
In this debut column here are a couple of Season Wins Totals to consider followed by predictions for the teams to make the Playoffs and to advance to the NBA Finals. It is too easy to forecast a fourth straight meeting between Cleveland and Golden State to meet in the NBA Finals. That will not be the forecast here.