Resting the stars on National TV

Van Everyman

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Cavs sitting LeBron, Love and Irving in prime time against the Clippers tonight. ABC must be absolutely livid.
 

ifmanis5

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Cavs sitting LeBron, Love and Irving in prime time against the Clippers tonight. ABC must be absolutely livid.
Totally. They just got over the Spurs/Warriors Restening game. I think ABC/ESPN complains (again?) to Silver and something gets done at least with National TV games with rest rules.. This is bad for everyone.
 

JakeRae

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Totally. They just got over the Spurs/Warriors Restening game. I think ABC/ESPN complains (again?) to Silver and something gets done at least with National TV games with rest rules.. This is bad for everyone.
It would be awful for the league to pass rules governing teams resting players. Especially if they only impacted national broadcasts. If the networks have a problem with it, let them flex in games featuring teams fighting to get into the playoffs instead of those resting in advance of them. (If the rest rule is simply one requiring sufficient notification for the flexing to happen, I am ok with that.)
 

joe dokes

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Totally. They just got over the Spurs/Warriors Restening game. I think ABC/ESPN complains (again?) to Silver and something gets done at least with National TV games with rest rules.. This is bad for everyone.
As Pop would likely say, "too fucking bad."
 

luckiestman

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As Pop would likely say, "too fucking bad."
It's bullshit. The networks and the fans pay to watch the best players. If ownership wants to rest their players let them charge exhibition game prices and give the networks and their advertisers a refund.
 

HomeRunBaker

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As Pop would likely say, "too fucking bad."
Sounds great and tough and all but these networks are your business partners. If you don't formulate a plan to correct this soon you are shooting yourself in the foot. Tweaking the schedule to eliminate these featured teams having their 3rd game in 4 nights, 4 in 5 or the dreaded 5 in 7 on that day over the second half of the season fixes this issue. It literally is only a small handful of games we are talking about here.
 

ifmanis5

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The fix plan is one that all parties should want- fix the terrible schedule. Too many games, too many back to backs. Fewer games would mean better rested players and a better quality product.
 

BigSoxFan

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The Cavs' next game after tonight is Wednesday. I don't see why they needed to rest guys last night as they didn't play Friday night. You rest your guys against the much better Clippers team and intend to play them against a garbage Lakers squad? That doesn't even make strategic sense.
 

JCizzle

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The fix plan is one that all parties should want- fix the terrible schedule. Too many games, too many back to backs. Fewer games would mean better rested players and a better quality product.
I haven't seen whether or not this is a done deal, but they're looking to cut preseason games to help with this.

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/12/2/13821216/nba-regular-season-schedule-2017-preseason-cba

The NBA and its players are expected to agree to start future regular seasons a week to 10 days earlier than they have in the past as part of the impending new CBA, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

This, in turn, would shorten the preseason and make it easier to eliminate more of the debilitating back-to-back and four-games-in-five-night stretches that take a toll on teams.

Opening night fell on Oct. 25 this season, but would instead happen anywhere from Oct. 15 to Oct. 20 in 2017-18, according to Stein.
 

coremiller

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The fix plan is one that all parties should want- fix the terrible schedule. Too many games, too many back to backs. Fewer games would mean better rested players and a better quality product.
They'll never cut games, because fewer games means lower revenue. The easiest fix to the national TV problem is just not to schedule marquee TV games when one of the teams is on a B2B. That wouldn't address the bigger schedule issues, but it would at least avoid a lot of the PR mess.
 

BigSoxFan

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What about just stretching out the NBA calendar by 2-3 weeks? Instead of being done in mid-April, you go until the end of April. Obviously would have to move the draft, FA, etc. back but would players really complain about losing a couple weeks of their already-long offseason?
 

BigSoxFan

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The NBA season is already too long as it is.
Then what exactly is everybody (players/coaches, not people here) whining about? The number of games aren't going to be reduced for the obvious financial reasons. Cutting preseason games doesn't really do anything because the good players hardly play in those anyways. Back to back games consist of around 20% of an NBA team's schedule. Sure you could reduce that a bit with creative scheduling but other than that, not sure what else can be done if you don't touch the calendar.

Guys like MJ, Bird, and Magic used to play 38-40mpg without much rest in a much more physical era and would be making deep playoff runs every year. Why is this such a big issue now?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The only solution that doesn't hit the owners and players in their wallets is to extend the season an make the playoffs end at the end of June rather than the start.
 

ifmanis5

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They'll never cut games, because fewer games means lower revenue. The easiest fix to the national TV problem is just not to schedule marquee TV games when one of the teams is on a B2B. That wouldn't address the bigger schedule issues, but it would at least avoid a lot of the PR mess.
Less games doesn't automatically mean less revenue. Fenway park generates more revenue than Coors Field. The league can figure this out if they really want to without losing money.
 

jon abbey

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The only solution that doesn't hit the owners and players in their wallets is to extend the season an make the playoffs end at the end of June rather than the start.
This would be crazy, the too long season has already sapped a lot of my interest, and I am a hardcore NBA fan going back decades.
 

bosox79

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Then what exactly is everybody (players/coaches, not people here) whining about? The number of games aren't going to be reduced for the obvious financial reasons. Cutting preseason games doesn't really do anything because the good players hardly play in those anyways. Back to back games consist of around 20% of an NBA team's schedule. Sure you could reduce that a bit with creative scheduling but other than that, not sure what else can be done if you don't touch the calendar.

Guys like MJ, Bird, and Magic used to play 38-40mpg without much rest in a much more physical era and would be making deep playoff runs every year. Why is this such a big issue now?
They broke down earlier too.
 

BigSoxFan

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They broke down earlier too.
Did they? Obviously Bird had his back problems but they may have been part genetic and part his maniacal training. Guys like Malone and Stockton played in that era and played forever. Guys today have access to much better technology, travel accommodations, etc. I don't think the schedule is causing any early retirements. Elite guys are still playing into their mid-to-late 30s. They're also getting longer all-star breaks now. I think the league has been more than accommodating, particularly since Silver took over.
 

bowiac

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With some back of the envelope math, about 9.5% of minutes in the last five seasons have been played by guys 33 or older. That's up from about 7.3% from 1989 to 1993 (picked because there was no expansion during this time). So it does look like the league is getting a bit older.

Looking at BPM, there's also a slight uptick in the quality of play from older players recently, but that's a pretty small effect.
 

bosox79

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Did they? Obviously Bird had his back problems but they may have been part genetic and part his maniacal training. Guys like Malone and Stockton played in that era and played forever. Guys today have access to much better technology, travel accommodations, etc. I don't think the schedule is causing any early retirements. Elite guys are still playing into their mid-to-late 30s. They're also getting longer all-star breaks now. I think the league has been more than accommodating, particularly since Silver took over.
With some back of the envelope math, about 9.5% of minutes in the last five seasons have been played by guys 33 or older. That's up from about 7.3% from 1989 to 1993 (picked because there was no expansion during this time). So it does look like the league is getting a bit older.

Looking at BPM, there's also a slight uptick in the quality of play from older players recently, but that's a pretty small effect.
Plus the league didn't get super physical until the late 80's with the Pistons and they were traveling to less locations for parts of their careers due to expansion.

Also just because players did something before doesn't mean players should be doing it now. I don't see anyone pining for Rick Porcello to throw 400 innings this year.
 

BigSoxFan

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Plus the league didn't get super physical until the late 80's with the Pistons and they were traveling to less locations for parts of their careers due to expansion.

Also just because players did something before doesn't mean players should be doing it now. I don't see anyone pining for Rick Porcello to throw 400 innings this year.
So, what exactly is your solution then? The games just aren't getting cut and we all know that.
 

moly99

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The problem is not with individual players resting or guys being rotated/given reduced minutes, but rather with teams resting 3+ starters. If I were a coach I would rotate players on road trips: leave Lebron at home for one away trip, then Kyrie, then Love, etc. That still gives you enough firepower to beat the Knicks, Kings, etc while giving your guys enough rest. Sitting all of them at once against another contending team seems to be something other than a strategy for keeping stars fit for the playoffs.

One potential solution for intra-conference games would be to use head to head record to determine which team gets to host the deciding game. That would provide a bit of a carrot for teams to try to win against their conference rivals. It wouldn't help Cleveland vs LAC, though.
 

jon abbey

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One potential solution for intra-conference games would be to use head to head record to determine which team gets to host the deciding game. That would provide a bit of a carrot for teams to try to win against their conference rivals.
Do you mean superseding overall record? So if Denver is the #8 seed but they win the season series against Golden State, they get home court advantage even though their record was 20+ games worse? I hope you don't mean that, because that is ridiculous. If you mean use head-to-head as a tiebreaker if teams have the same record, pretty sure they already do that.

Some of these 'solutions' are way worse than the problem.
 

moly99

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Do you mean superseding overall record? So if Denver is the #8 seed but they win the season series against Golden State, they get home court advantage even though their record was 20+ games worse? I hope you don't mean that, because that is ridiculous.
It's ridiculous in the sense that it gets rid of seeding, but it would fulfill the NBA's objective of getting teams to play their starters against other contenders within the same conference. Teams would rest their starters against the crap teams that people aren't watching on TV instead of the marquee television games.

I am not even saying that they should do it, but it is an option for the NBA beyond fining teams cash.
 

ifmanis5

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Silver memo: resting players sucks as currently configured and will end: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18962901/resting-star-players-significant-issue-league
In the memo, Silver informed teams that the issue will be a prime topic of discussion at the next NBA Board of Governors meeting April 6 in New York and warned of ‎"significant penalties" for teams that don't abide by the league's standing rules for providing ‎"notice to the league office, their opponent, and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest."
 

tims4wins

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Does ESPN complain if the Sox sit Papi on Sunday Night Baseball vs. the MFY? Or if Kris Bryant sits vs. the Cards?
 

bsj

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Does ESPN complain if the Sox sit Papi on Sunday Night Baseball vs. the MFY? Or if Kris Bryant sits vs. the Cards?
There is a diff between sitting Ortiz and sitting Ortiz, pedroia, Betts, and Bogaerts on The same night.

Give every player as many games off as you want. Just use common sense, be discrete, and rotate them. Don't do all your stats on the same night. That is the problem
 

BigSoxFan

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This might need to be its own thread. Seems to be a major issue that Silver is going to try to address in the off-season.
 

ifmanis5

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The most interesting thing about Silver's memo was that he not only called out the players but he put the owners on notice as well. He's calling on the owners to be more involved and making them accountable for stars who sit. Behind the scenes this either already is or is on its way to becoming the most fractious topic in the league across all parties on and off the court.
 

the moops

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I think nothing comes of this. They will talk it up in the offeason, mainly as a way of keeping the NBA in the news, but next year same thing will happen.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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I think I read part of this idea here before but I really believe the NBA (like MLB) needs to shrink its season.

I understand the economic realities of the TV contract make this infeasible but moving to a 62 game schedule would solve the 'star players getting rest' issue.

Schedule would break down as follows (using Celtics as an example):

Home/Away against all Western Conference teams (15x2 = 30 games)
Home/Away against all non-divisional Eastern Conference teams (10x2 = 20 games)
Three games against all division opponents (4x3= 12 games)
Total = 62 games

This schedule would allow all fan bases (season ticket holders) to see each team at least one each year. The downside is each team only plays divisional opponents three times so there is an imbalance in home/away but personally, I don't care much about divisions in the NBA and with a de-emphasis on the importance of divisions for home court in the playoffs back in 2015, I think this is a logical step if the NBA were to shrink the schedule.

Also there is practically an even split in terms of Western/Eastern Conference games (30 vs. 32) but I really think it's important that there is a home/home between all teams in the conferences for the fans.


Edit: or increase the schedule to 66 games and have one more set of games against divisional opponents. Then there is equity in terms of home/away.
 
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bsj

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Sometimes we overthink this. No one is saying that players can't rest. But don't rest them all the same game. Every player can have 5-10-15 games off, just, in rotation
 

tims4wins

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Sometimes we overthink this. No one is saying that players can't rest. But don't rest them all the same game. Every player can have 5-10-15 games off, just, in rotation
But unlike in baseball, resting one player significantly decreases your chances of winning. I think teams prefer to give their best 3-4 players the same game off, effectively tank the game, but go 100% in the other games.
 

bowiac

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I think nothing comes of this. They will talk it up in the offeason, mainly as a way of keeping the NBA in the news, but next year same thing will happen.
I bet you Silver can put a lot of soft pressure on owners to reign in their coaches. I agree any kind of rigid rule is essentially impossible to implement, but I bet if every time this happens, the owner gets an earful from the commissioners office, it would have some real impact. With only 30 teams, that sort of hectoring approach can work, even without any enforcement mechanism.

I am also curious if it would be possible to schedule fewer back to backs for teams in prime-time TV spots, but that's easier said than done given the inherent difficulties in scheduling.

As someone who likes basketball, I hate ideas to reduce the season length.
 

tims4wins

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I think I saw that the NBA is going to start the season a week earlier next year, and reduce the preseason. What is the practical effect of the extra week? How many 4 games in 5 night stretches will it remove? I'd love to see an analysis
 

BigJimEd

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But unlike in baseball, resting one player significantly decreases your chances of winning. I think teams prefer to give their best 3-4 players the same game off, effectively tank the game, but go 100% in the other games.
This plus they don't want their stars working harder because another is resting.
 

Van Everyman

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Given that Irving/LeBron/Love all played a night later against the Lakers and had monster games, it's hard to look at the Cavs' decision to rest them in prime time as anything other than selfish and also kind of stupid.

The NBA is a business not an artistic expression -- and part of what makes that business successful is the huge dollars business partners like ABC pay for marquee match-ups. Those partners have every right to insist that the league do what it can to ensure that teams aren't materially undermining the value of those events it has paid to broadcast.

This isn't that hard.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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As someone who likes basketball, I hate ideas to reduce the season length.

I like basketball too. You really would miss October/November games from the slate? Going from 82 to 66 games would be a month's worth of games.
 

the moops

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Given that Irving/LeBron/Love all played a night later against the Lakers and had monster games, it's hard to look at the Cavs' decision to rest them in prime time as anything other than selfish and also kind of stupid.
I don't follow. They had to play hard, very hard to beat LA that game. They were down 10 points going into the 4th quarter. Seems as though the rest may have helped them eek out that win in the 4th.
 

bowiac

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I like basketball too. You really would miss October/November games from the slate? Going from 82 to 66 games would be a month's worth of games.
I would miss these games, yes. I like the grind of the NBA season, and I don't see what benefit as a fan I get out of a shorter season.