Dallas Mavericks superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki is mostly indifferent to the NBA trying out a 44-minute preseason game; what would catch his attention, would be the highly unlikely scenario where the amount of regular season games is cut down.
While echoing Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Nowitzki also knows that business drives the scheduling conundrum.
In a perfect world, Dirk says the season would only be about 65 games long (with significantly less timeouts in the fourth quarter.)
“I think you don’t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,” Nowitzki said Wednesday. “That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it’s about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players. I understand all that, and that’s why I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.”
Nowitzki said he would recommend that regular-season schedules be trimmed from 82 games to the “mid-60s,” although he said it’s not his place to say. Like Spoelstra, Nowitzki’s biggest issue with the current format is the back-to-back games.
”Honestly, I never was a big fan of back-to-backs even when I was 20 years old,” said Nowitzki, a 36-year-old entering his 17th NBA season. “I think that you should never have to play at the highest level there is two consecutive nights and flying in between. You obviously make it work. We have the best athletes in the world, we feel, but I think it hurts the product some. Last year, some teams get here for the fourth game in five nights and we’ve been sitting here on rest and just blow them out. […] I don’t think it’s good for the product, but I also understand that 82 games is where it’s at. It’s a business, and everybody’s got to live with it.”