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How many Games will be Played in 2011/12 Season?

10 Nov

NBA has already canceled games through November… but what exactly does it mean? Schedule has to change anyway so the most important question is this: how many games can we still have?
Obviously even both sides might not know this now because they are still negotiating about more fundamental things but I think we can easily estimate how it can play out. Let’s start with some facts.

Here’s what happened in a previous shortened season and, for a comparison sake, in the last two years.

Season Days in the Regular Part Games Played Average Games
per Week
Days in the Playoffs Max Games Average Games
per Week
1998-99 89 50 3,93 48 20 2,92
2009-10 169 83 3,43 61 24 2,75
2010-11 169 83 3,43 57 21 2,58

FYI, 83rd game is an All-Star Game. I think it’s a good place to set a minimum [3,43] and a maximum [3,93] for a possible contests per week because obviously games won’t be played less often than in a normal season and for the love of… players they shouldn’t be more packed than in 1999.

So how many games we can expect in a wildly optimistic scenario?
It means they would have to agree today or tomorrow so regular season would have to start on Dec 7th and end on May 3rd while playoffs would start on May 5th and end on June 23rd:

Season Days in the Regular Part Games Played Average Games
per Week
Days in the Playoffs Max Games Average Games
per Week
Version1 148 83,09 3,93 49 28 4,00
Version1 148 82,03 3,88 49 27 3,86
Version1 148 80,98 3,83 49 26 3,71
Version1 148 79,92 3,78 49 25 3,57
Version1 148 78,86 3,73 49 24 3,43
Version1 148 77,81 3,68 49 23 3,29
Version1 148 76,75 3,63 49 22 3,14
Version1 148 75,69 3,58 49 21 3,00
Version1 148 74,63 3,53 49 20 2,86
Version1 148 73,58 3,48 49 19 2,71
Version1 148 72,52 3,43 49 18 2,57

I have to admit that I’m surprised that 82 games are still theoretically possible. Obviously it would be an assassination attempt at player’s knees, ankles etc but if they really want all their paychecks…
they would have to create some more available dates in the arenas.
With that information it makes sense that NBA announced season with 82 games isn’t possible.

So let’s focus on slightly optimistic scenario where we assume that regular season would start on Dec 15th and end on April 30th while playoffs would start on May 3rd and end on June 21st:

Season Days in the Regular Part Games Played Average Games
per Week
Days in the Playoffs Max Games Average Games
per Week
Version2 137 76,92 3,93 49 28 4,00
Version2 137 75,94 3,88 49 27 3,86
Version2 137 74,96 3,83 49 26 3,71
Version2 137 73,98 3,78 49 25 3,57
Version2 137 73,00 3,73 49 24 3,43
Version2 137 72,02 3,68 49 23 3,29
Version2 137 71,04 3,63 49 22 3,14
Version2 137 70,07 3,58 49 21 3,00
Version2 137 69,09 3,53 49 20 2,86
Version2 137 68,11 3,48 49 19 2,71
Version2 137 67,13 3,43 49 18 2,57

72-74 games wouldn’t be so bad – it’s only around 10% of lost wages… to accept a bad deal but still, from players’ point of view it would feel almost like a typical season without receiving any escrow money back.
But they would have to agree in the next week or so…

EDIT: 36 hours later ESPN posted this news: “David Stern on Thursday offered his locked-out players a 72-game season that would start Dec. 15.” so… exactly in the middle of those projections! Yeah! ;-)

Our next estimate is a middle of the road scenario with an assumption that regular season would start on Dec 24th, end on April 28th while playoffs would start on May 1st and end on June 21st:

Season Days in the Regular Part Games Played Average Games
per Week
Days in the Playoffs Max Games Average Games
per Week
Version3 126 70,74 3,93 51 28 3,84
Version3 126 69,84 3,88 51 27 3,71
Version3 126 68,94 3,83 51 26 3,57
Version3 126 68,04 3,78 51 25 3,43
Version3 126 67,14 3,73 51 24 3,29
Version3 126 66,24 3,68 51 23 3,16
Version3 126 65,34 3,63 51 22 3,02
Version3 126 64,44 3,58 51 21 2,88
Version3 126 63,54 3,53 51 20 2,75
Version3 126 62,64 3,48 51 19 2,61
Version3 126 61,74 3,43 51 18 2,47

Now we are talking about some damage. Another two weeks of those negotiations would mean 64-68 games played in a regular season so around 20% of lost salaries.

EDIT: NBA settled on 66 games in 2010/11 so… exactly in the middle of those projections! Yeah! ;-)

Please note that I’ve added more days to the playoffs which would be a bad news from regular season’s point of view where players make their money. Obviously I have no idea how they will handle this issue: more days for the playoffs mean less money for players. Hell, as a player you could easily argue “let’s not schedule playoffs at all and let’s play a whole 82-game regular season” but owners would strongly disagree since that’s where they make most of their money. I think it’s an interesting dilemma for both sides…

Slightly pessimistic scenario would mean another month without a CBA and start of regular season on Jan 5th, end on April 26th while playoffs would start on April 28th and end on June 20th:

Season Days in the Regular Part Games Played Average Games
per Week
Days in the Playoffs Max Games Average Games
per Week
Version4 112 62,88 3,93 53 28 3,70
Version4 112 62,08 3,88 53 27 3,57
Version4 112 61,28 3,83 53 26 3,43
Version4 112 60,48 3,78 53 25 3,30
Version4 112 59,68 3,73 53 24 3,17
Version4 112 58,88 3,68 53 23 3,04
Version4 112 58,08 3,63 53 22 2,91
Version4 112 57,28 3,58 53 21 2,77
Version4 112 56,48 3,53 53 20 2,64
Version4 112 55,68 3,48 53 19 2,51
Version4 112 54,88 3,43 53 18 2,38

Here we would enter “close to 1999” zone so 60-ish probably mostly bad quality games but “hey at least they came back”. I hope we can ignore this scenario for now as well as a very pessimistic version [with the worst case being “zero”] which would be pretty much the repeat of those numbers from 1998-99.

IMHO if current talks don’t blow up badly, we will have 70-74 games but if they do and de-certification movement will get stronger our best chance would remain probably around 54-56 games. If any. Blah.

So… how many games do you think we will have to watch, comment and set our fantasy lineups for?

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9 Comments

Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Unanswered Questions

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 responses to “How many Games will be Played in 2011/12 Season?

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    November 10, 2011 at 20:01

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