NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association wants to reduce the number of times that teams are scheduled to play four games in five nights next season, commissioner Adam Silver said on Saturday.
Speaking on All-Star weekend in New York, Silver acknowledged that the current schedule included too many back-to-back games.
He said the league would consider starting the season a couple of weeks earlier in October to spread the 82 regular season games over a longer time period.
“One of things we’re hoping to address for next season is to come close as we can to eliminating the four games in five nights,” Silver told a packed media conference.
“It’s a math formula at the end of the day in terms of the numbers of days in the season and the number of games we play but we think we can make a dramatic reduction there.”
Silver’s comments follow a significant increase this season in the number of teams resting players in an effort to keep them fresh, something that does not sit well with fans who want to see the best suit up every night.
The reigning champion San Antonio Spurs have been the trend-setter in this regard, and other teams have taken note.
“There’s nothing more important than the health and welfare of our players. Ultimately, we want to see our players get appropriate rest and playing at the highest level,” Silver continued.
He also said the league would “take a fresh look” at tweaking the draft lottery, due to the widespread perception that teams not in playoff contention are tanking to try to improve their chances of a high draft pick.
Under the current weighted lottery system, the team with the poorest record is guaranteed to get no worse than the fourth draft pick for the following season, which some believe gives teams too much incentive to lose games.
“I don’t think the system is as broken as some may suggest but it’s going to require a tweak,” Silver said.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Patrick Johnston