A. Sherrod Blakely: ‘It just feels…it’s better from a competitive standpoint.” – NBA commish Adam Silver when asked about returning to a 2-2-1-1-1 format from the 2-3-2 Finals format. “It feels like it’s the right format.”
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Mark Medina: Adam Silver on if he would entertain reducing a 82 regular-season game schedule: “I’m not against potentially changing the format of the season or possibly shortening it a bit if we can demonstrate it has a direct impact on injuries.”
Jovan Buha: The Lakers announced their 2022-23 preseason schedule: Oct. 3: vs. Sacramento Oct. 5: vs. Phoenix Oct. 6: vs. Minnesota Oct. 9: at Golden State Oct. 12: vs. Minnesota Oct. 14: at Sacramento The Oct. 5 and 6 games are in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.
Sarah K. Spencer: Play-in tournament schedule is out. April 12: East No. 8 vs. East No. 7 April 13: East No. 10 vs. East No. 9 April 15: winner of 9/10 vs. loser of 7-8 pic.twitter.com/fZ76oFHXJk
Mike Vorkunov: The NBA has discussed keeping the play-in tournament in place beyond this season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. It might be tweaked. Silver: “I think it’ll become a fixture in this league.”
Austin Krell: The game between the Heat and Sixers on Monday night has been pushed back to 7:30 PM, Et, NBA says. Had been scheduled for 7.
Cowherd suggested cutting the season from 82 games to 74, and making the first round of the playoffs best-of-five instead of the current seven. Morey raised and went all in. “You’re too timid, but you gotta go farther,” Morey said. “I like 58. Every team plays every [other] team two times. The playoffs, I 100 percent agree, shorter is better.” This is when Morey offered a truly eye-popping proposal. “I would have it one-and-done,” he said. “There’s a reason everyone tunes into every game at huge ratings in the NFL. It is literally one-and-done. And the NCAA Tournament, in 63 games, gets more money than we do in our entire regular season.
Mark Medina: Some NBA flex TV scheduling: ESPN will televise the Sixers-Mavs game on Feb. 4 and tipoff time changed to 10 pm ET. ESPN will no longer televise the Nuggets-Pelicans game
Doug Smith: For the NBA hates Canada crowd, people tell me Raptors-Knicks in NY tonight because MLSE had a concert hold on Scotiabank for Nov. 1 when NBA schedule finalized. Concert never happened, game is in NY because time to release date came too late.
For the 2021-22 NBA season, the league is looking forward to getting back to normal. And for the seventh year, the duties of making the NBA schedule were entrusted to a team led by Tom Carelli, senior VP of game schedule management, and Evan Wasch, executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics. Carelli first started at the NBA in 1990, working with the league’s network broadcast partners before transitioning into scheduling full time. Wasch has been with the NBA since 2011. Together, the tandem spent time with The Athletic to discuss a variety of subjects related to the upcoming season’s schedule, with Carelli specializing in arena availability and national television and Wasch specializing in the analytics of the schedule, back-to-backs and travel. “Luckily, we have the help of this computer, a very powerful computer system that is literally revealing billions of possible schedules,” Wasch says. “It only shows us the ones that best meet the objectives that we set into it. … That’s the first draft, and then we iterate from there.”
The NBA also color codes potential back-to-backs in terms of potential miles and airport/hotel access between cities. The metric denotes green for regularly accepted, standard back-to-backs; yellow for an increased difficulty but still acceptable; and red for unacceptable and prohibited. “What we did a number of years ago, really when Tom and I started this process, is we went to color code every single potential back-to-back that there is, based on not just how many miles between the two cities but how difficult it is to get out of one,” Wasch said. “A great example is, historically, there were a lot of Portland-to-Denver back-to-backs scheduled, and teams just kept telling us how unbelievably difficult that was. Because it turned out that it’s a long flight, you lose an hour of time, the Denver airport is far from downtown, altitude, all that. So now that’s coded as a red back-to-back in our system, and the schedule won’t allow it.”
The national television part of the schedule is the backbone of the regular season. A source of optimism this upcoming season is that the league had a good problem of trying to maximize the breakthrough teams from the 2021 postseason. Exactly half of the league (15 teams) is scheduled to have 10 or more nationally televised games next season. “We probably have more marquee-type teams, I would say, to put into national TV windows than we’ve had in the years that I’ve been doing this,” Carelli said. “We have a lot of teams that are going to be exciting teams, are going to be teams that people want to watch, the players that people want to watch. A team like Atlanta and a team like Phoenix for example, who going into last year, probably wouldn’t have been in that basket. But now, you know, are going to be playing games on Christmas and featured in a lot of our tentpole games and featured in national TV games.”
Aaron Rose: The Raptors will be playing their home games at Scotiabank Arena this season, I’m told by Raptors PR. Maybe I missed that news earlier, but for those who hadn’t had it confirmed, it’s confirmed.
Law Murray: Official Clippers preseason schedule: October 4 vs Nuggets (Staples Center) October 6 vs Kings (Staples Center) October 8 at Dallas (American Airlines Center) October 11 vs Timberwolves (Toyota Center) There are only 8 national TV games entire preseason. None are LAC games.
Gary Washburn: #Celtics preseason schedule: Oct. 4 vs. #Magic Oct. 9 vs. #Raptors Oct. 13 at #Magic Oct. 15 at #Heat
Mark Followill: The Mavericks have announced their schedule for the pre-season of 4 games: 1st 2 at home – 10/6 vs Utah 10/8 vs LA Clippers. Next 2 away: 10/13 at Charlotte 10/15 at Milwaukee
The big difference in the new season is that they appear on the schedule far more infrequently. There will be just 23 two-game sets leaguewide, to be exact, compared to 84 in 2020-21. The reduction, I’m told, was a matter of shifting priorities in the league office. The priority last season was reducing travel and specifically flights, which was the inspiration for the league’s sudden embrace of the two-game series in the same venue that had for so long been taboo. With no ticket sales in numerous arenas for much of the season and so many more arena dates available with concerts and other events on hold, scheduling two-game sets was also much easier.
Yet league officials did feel compelled to persist with a handful of two-game sets in the months ahead to be able to better gauge the long-term viability of the concept and take a more detailed look at how they affect fan interest and attendance. Trying to measure the business impact of a two-game series for the home team was not a realistic option for much of last season with crowds limited or even nonexistent early on.
Rod Beard: #Pistons preseason schedule: Oct. 6 vs #Spurs, 7 ET Oct. 11 at #Grizzlies, 8 Oct. 13 at #Knicks, 7 Oct. 15 vs. #Sixers Regular-season opener is Oct. 20 vs. #Bulls.
Kellan Olson: Suns’ preseason schedule is out. Oct. 4: at Kings, 7p Oct. 6: vs. Lakers, 7p Oct. 10: at Lakers, 6:30p Oct. 13: vs. Blazers, 7p That’ll give the Suns a week from the preseason finale on the 13th and the season opener on the 20th.
Ryan Wolstat: Random math alert: When the Raptors open against Washington on October 20th, it will mark an even 600 days between regular season games at Scotiabank Arena.
Fred Katz: The NBA made an effort to limit travel with the schedule. The league says the estimated average miles traveled for each team is a record low for an 82-game season: 43,000 miles per team, down from about 46,000 miles a team in 2019-20, the most-recent 82-game season.
The Celtics will retire Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 on March 13 following their game against Jason Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks. Perfect timing after Paul Pierce said last year that Garnett nearly came to blows with the Nets legend when he was Garnett’s coach in Brooklyn. Garnett’s Boston jersey retirement is happening before Minnesota’s, where he spent 14 seasons but had a falling out with outgoing team governor Glen Taylor.
Neil Dalal: If John Wall is still on the Rockets on January 5, he will get a much deserved standing ovation from the Capital One Arena crowd for a decade of service to DC
Richard Deitsch: The NBA teams most appearing on ABC Golden State Warriors: 6 Lakers/Nets/Bucks: 5 Celtics: 4
Law Murray: We’re back to 82 games, which means: 16 games vs divisional opponents 30 games vs interconference opponents Of the 10 teams in conference but outside of division, 6 will meet twice at home and away each. 2 will only have one home, 2 will only have one road trip.
Andrew Greif: One note, via the NBA: No team is scheduled to play a stretch of 4 games in 5 nights. It’s the fourth straight standard season (82 games per team) without a 4-in-5.
Kyle Goon: I see 13 Lakers games on TNT, and 16 Lakers games on ESPN/ABC in the coming season. They’re scheduled for the the most games of any team scheduled on TNT, and I suppose 16 ESPN/ABC games is up there …
Fred Katz: Russell Westbrook and the Lakers will return to Washington to play the Wizards on March 19. Wizards play the Lakers in Los Angeles the previous week, March 11.
Anthony Slater: Kevin Durant makes his return to the Bay Area in front of fans for the first time on Jan 29th. ABC Saturday showcase game between Warriors and Nets in Chase Center.
Andrew Lopez: Eric Bledsoe comes back to the Smoothie King Center on Nov. 19 – Clippers at Pels. Lonzo Ball’s return has to wait until March 24.
Tim Reynolds: Thursday, Feb. 3. Kyle Lowry returns to Toronto.
Tom Westerholm: The Celtics face the Lakers at home on Nov. 19.
Andrew Greif: The 4 Clippers/Lakers matchups in 2021-22 (home team in parentheses): Dec. 3 (LAL) Feb. 3 (LAC) Feb. 25 (LAL) March 3 (LAC)
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets with Jalen Green will face the Pistons and Cade Cunningham Nov. 10 at Toyota Center and on ESPN.
Jason Jones: Kings announced their preseason schedule: 10/4 vs. Phoenix 10/6 at LA Clippers 10/11 at Portland 10/14 vs. Lakers
Chris Fedor: #Cavaliers exhibition schedule: Oct. 5 at Chicago Oct. 6 at Atlanta Oct. 8 vs Indiana Oct. 10 vs Chicago Oct. 15 at Indiana
Chris Kirschner: Preseason schedule for the Hawks: Oct 4: at Miami Oct 6: vs. Cleveland Oct 9: at Memphis Oct 14: vs. Miami
Harrison Wind: Nuggets preseason schedule is out. One home game. Four road games including a back-to-back in OKC. 10/4 at Clippers 10/6 at Warriors 10/8 vs. Timberwolves 10/13 at Thunder 10/14 at Thunder
Eddie Sefko: Nat’l TV games Oct. 19-22. I assume there are other games on those days, too. Oct. 19 Brooklyn at Mil., GS at LA Lakers, TNT. Oct. 20 Boston at New York, Denver at Phoenix, ESPN. Oct. 21 Dallas at Atlanta, LA Clippers at GS, TNT. Oct. 22 Bklyn at Phil. Phoenix at LA Lakers, ESPN.
Marc Stein: The NBA’s Christmas Day slate: Hawks at Knicks Celtics at Bucks Warriors at Suns Nets at Lakers Mavericks at Jazz More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
Barry Jackson: Nets-Bucks and Warriors-Lakers are the TNT games on Oct. 19, the opening night of the NBA season. Full schedule coming out Friday.
Kyle Neubeck: Sixers will play the Nets on Friday, 10/22 on ESPN
Ryan Ward: Lakers will play on two of the first four nights of the 2021-22 NBA season. Face the Warriors on Oct. 19 and the Suns on Oct. 22: pic.twitter.com/EAsZr2IdiV
Sam Amick: Per league source, the 75th regular season will tip off on @NBAonTNT like this on Oct. 19… * Brooklyn at Milwaukee * Warriors at Lakers Yes, please…
Marc Stein: The NBA schedule for the 2021-22 season, I’m told, is expected to be released in the next 7-to-10 days. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
Mark your calendars, Chicago Bulls fans. The team has now finalized its 2021 Summer League and preseason schedules ahead of the 2021-22 regular season. The preseason slate features four contests, three at home and one on the road: Tuesday, Oct. 5: vs. Cavaliers (7 pm CT) Friday, Oct. 8: vs. Pelicans (7 pm CT) Sunday, Oct. 10: at Cavaliers (6 pm CT) Friday, Oct. 15: vs. Grizzlies (7 pm CT)
The NBA Board of Governors today approved a proposal to continue the Play-In Tournament for the 2021-22 season. The Play-In Tournament for the 2021-22 season, which was also agreed to by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), will follow the same format as the Play-In Tournament for the 2020-21 season. The teams that finish the regular season with the seventh-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference will compete to fill the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference.
Below are some key dates for the 2021-22 season. • Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (6 p.m. ET) • Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (12:01 p.m. ET) • Aug. 8-17: MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas • Sept. 28, 2021: Training camp begins • Oct. 19, 2021: Regular season begins • April 10, 2022: Regular season concludes • April 12-15, 2022: Play-In Tournament • April 16, 2022: Playoffs begin • June 2, 2022: NBA Finals begin • June 19, 2022: Game 7 of NBA Finals (if necessary) • June 23, 2022: NBA Draft
Kyle Goon: The Lakers have the 2021-22 preseason schedule set. pic.twitter.com/iXJg4idAia
Shams Charania: Bucks-Suns NBA Finals: Game 1: July 6 Game 2: July 8 Game 3: July 11 Game 4: July 14 Game 5*: July 17 Game 6*: July 20 Game 7*: July 22
And we aren’t even talking about the demands of the local broadcasters these teams rely on or the complication of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin July 23. From the team executives I talk to, the Tokyo factor was an underrated schedule pressure.
Shams Charania: Sources: Key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season: Sept. 28: Training camp starts Oct. 19: Regular season starts April 16: Playoffs start June 2: Finals Game 1 June 19: Finals Game 7 June 23: 2022 NBA Draft
Tim Reynolds: Important to note: Nobody knows what the planned end date of next season in the NBA is yet — because we don’t know for certain if the play-in tournament returns. It likely will. But it’s not definitive.
Tim Reynolds: Teams will also return to what should have been the 2020-21 schedule matrix when it comes to which non-divisional in-conference opponents they play three times instead of four. (You play your divisional opponents four, and the other conference teams twice each.)
Sources said the league disagrees that the schedule or short offseason has increased injuries or wear and tear on players or that it has limited the amount of time for rest and recovery. Citing internal data, the league says injuries rate similarly to last season. Officials note that in a normal calendar year, teams play 82 games and return after 14 weeks off. Over this two-year period, the average team played 20 fewer games than it would’ve played in such a stretch and had an additional two months off. Of course, those numbers don’t take into account the complicating factors wrought by the pandemic, such as early testing times or other elements tied to COVID-19 protocols.
Sources said the league is expected to engage general managers and other team staffers on all manner of competitive issues, including the schedule, in a more formal manner in the near future, which will help inform how next season’s schedule is impacted.
Adam Zagoria: NBA Eastern Conference playoff schedule
Michael Singer: NBA just announced Nuggets-Suns Round 2 schedule. No extra off days except, potentially, ahead of Game 7.
Brad Townsend: Western Conference semifinal schedule scenarios:
Brad Townsend: One way or the other, Mavs will play Sunday at 2:30 on ABC, NBA announces. Will it be Game 7 at the Clippers? Or Game 1 at the Jazz? pic.twitter.com/cSM8dzGWGA
Among the questions that the league likely still needs to address to teams: Could franchises be assured — especially those in big markets — that there wouldn’t be gate revenue losses by shortening the regular season to 78 games to accommodate the tournament? Some teams had been hesitant to incur short-term losses on potentially losing two home dates, especially when those games had been worth anywhere between $2.5 million and $4 million in pre-pandemic times.
JD Shaw: Here is the schedule for the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament. Times are still TBD: pic.twitter.com/iYzoodatHJ
JD Shaw: Here is the confirmed schedule for Saturday’s slate of NBA games: pic.twitter.com/W0B4bhwnVx
JD Shaw: Here’s the Sunday slate: pic.twitter.com/gpor8tLdO1
The NBA announced today that NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm® will take place on Thursday, July 29, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The first round will be televised by ESPN and ABC, and the second round will air on ESPN.
Subject to evolving public health conditions, Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine 2021 is scheduled to take place Monday, June 21 through Sunday, June 27. ESPN networks plan to televise the NBA Draft Combine, with coverage featuring five-on-five games and strength and agility testing.
NBA Draft Lottery 2021 presented by State Farm® will take place on Tuesday, June 22, airing on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The deadline for an early entry player to apply for this year’s NBA Draft is Sunday, May 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The deadline for an early entry player to withdraw from the NBA Draft is Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. ET.
Shams Charania: The 2021 NBA Draft will be on July 29, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. NBA Draft Lottery will be on June 22. Draft Combine scheduled for June 21-27.
Fred Katz: Adam Silver on the possibilities of a playoff bubble: “We’re not considering going back to a bubble right now. I don’t rule anything out…The virus is firmly in charge, so we need to adjust to circumstances as they present themselves.”
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July 6, 2022 | 12:19 am EDT Update
Free agent center Thomas Bryant has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Bryant will be given the opportunity to win the starting center position, sources said.
He was courted by the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz, sources said. Bryant returns to Los Angeles where he spent his rookie season with the Lakers after being a second-round pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
July 5, 2022 | 10:40 pm EDT Update
ESPN Stats & Info: Chet Holmgren showed out in his Summer League debut, dropping 23 PTS on 78% from the field. He is the first player with 5 blocks and 4 3-pointers in any Summer League game all-time.
Oklahoma City mayor David Holt was watching Holmgren in action and he’s ready to clear his schedule to watch the Gonzaga alum at the NBA level.
Shams Charania: Memphis Grizzlies No. 38 pick Kennedy Chandler has agreed to a four-year, $7.1 million rookie deal, his agent Ryan Davis tells @TheAthletic @Stadium. The contract contains the largest guaranteed salary – $4.94M – for an American second-round pick.