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The NBA would like to shorten the season, but they can’t seem to settle on the right number of games. 66 is a little too low for their liking, and 82 is a bit watered down. If they actually shorten the NBA schedule (I’m talking real life), they are likely to settle on 72 games.
Personally, I like 71.
Sure, 71 is an odd number, which means an uneven amount of home/away games, but playing 71 games is the only way each team can play four games against every team in their conference (total of 14 other teams) while playing each team in the other conference (total of 15 other teams) one time per season. Yes, teams will play against each opposite conference team one measly time.
This is also the only way the league can eliminate back-to-back games and extensive opposite coast road trips. Basically, this isn’t just a new and improved version of the NBA; this is the no excuses NBA. We’re eliminating all excuses by giving each and every team the same set of excuses.
If you split a season series 2-2 against a team in your conference, the home-court tiebreaker goes to the team with the better overall record. So if you were wondering, yes, a teams overall record is still very much an important thing. But that’s just about all it is important for. That and fans being able to gloat about their team having the best record in the league; that type of stuff will never die off.