When I collect a lot of data for one topic spin-off ideas are almost inevitable because by that time the hardest part is already finished and the only thing left is [additional and unrelated] cherry at the top ;-)
Last post about Journey through Miles of NBA Travel History wasn’t the exception. To measure distance I needed a schedule… and with that information in place why not analyze NBA’s schedule itself?
Here are some basic total numbers and facts about it from 1951-52 to 2010-11:
|Weekday||Total Games||Season’s Start||Day||Season||Season’s End||Day|
|Month||Adj per 30||Fri||Nov||6||1993||Sun||Apr||25|
|Day of Month||Total Games||Fri||Oct||29||1983||Sun||Apr||17|
We can easily observe some patterns here, for example:
1) NBA Truly Hates Mondays.
Not only on Mondays there was by far the least amount of games played but also NBA season usually starts just after this day.
Obviously those facts are related but even if we adjust start of every season, Mondays still would be the least favorite day for the NBA. Was Monday the worst day to attract customers?
2) NBA isn’t a fan of Sundays and Thursdays either.
Sundays were, are and probably always will be reserved for football so that’s understandable to limit games but what’s wrong with Thursdays? Does NBA save some games for Fridays? Speaking of which…
3) The most games in NBA history were played on Friday.
OK, that’s actually not a surprise so let’s move on… to the possible explanation for three aforementioned points. Here’s a graph with historical Percentage of NBA Games Played on each Weekday:
OK, so more accurate would be to say “NBA Hated Mondays” ;-)
Also Thursdays really took a hit 8 years ago. Was it a move to accommodate some wishes from TV?
Speaking of which…
4) The most busy month was January followed by February and March.
Is this another influence of NFL? NBA moved into higher gear around the time when football was slowing down [at least in terms of number of games played]… this can’t be coincidence, can it?
5) Favorite day to start a season changed through time.
In the first two decades it was Saturday, in the next three Friday and in recent ones it has been Wednesday.
That’s probably related to number of games played so NBA could finish it’s schedule at desired date.
Finally, if you want to be really hardcore… here’s a Breakdown of Percentage of NBA Games Played on each Day for each City/Team where highlights are:
- It’s true that Utah tries to avoid games on Sundays.
It’s also a reason why they play a lot games on Mondays.
- perennial winners like Lakers and Celtics played often on Sundays.