82 Games - About Twenty Too Many?

The Rotowire NBA crew frequently talks about the high "abandon rate" in fantasy NBA leagues. Too many teams in too many leagues are left to wither on the vine as owners get distracted by March Madness or spring training... or simply give up hope when they fall too far out of the money.

(That reminds me... did I remember to bench Tony Parker in that one league? Be right back.)

Where was I? Right. Not paying attention through late February and early March. It's bad. Dead teams make life more difficult for the teams that are still competing -- they make important players into non-factors, and they can throw the standings in percentage categories all to hell.

But here's the thing -- can we really blame fantasy players for losing interest? It seems a fair number of NBA players and teams are guilty of the same crime. And I'm not even talking about dreadful squads like the Knicks, Nets or Pacers -- teams already playing like they have tee times set up for mid-April.

Look at LeBron James. LBJ "tweaked his ankle" during Friday's game against the Pistons. (A game in which he dropped 40 points.) He sat out Saturday's game at Milwaukee and Monday's against the Spurs.

Maybe he's really hurt. There's no way to know for sure. But according to Brian Windhorst's blog, James was hopping around the locker room like a little kid while watching the finish of the Hawks/Knicks game on Monday night. So is he really hurting? Or did the Cavs look at the schedule, see a four-day gap between the San Antonio game and Friday's visit to Philly and decide to give the King a full week off to rest up for the stretch and playoffs?

The reality of the situation is this: the Cavs have a 15 game lead on Milwaukee in the Central and a five-game edge on Orlando for the top seed in the East. Mike Brown could opt to rest James and Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao for another week without hurting his playoff positioning much.

What's the solution? Is the regular season too long? What if the season was shortened by about 20 games -- with the difference made up by another round of playoffs?

Never happen, I know. But how else do you address the "dog days"?


By: nayfel
On: 3/10/2010 5:00:00 PM
I think LeBron should be embarrassed. What kind of example is he setting? Where is the competitive fire to dominate on a nightly basis?
I read BIll Simmons last week who mentioned that MJ played 310 of a possible 310 games from 1996-1998. That was at the end of his career (I try hard to forget the Washing days) when his team clinched the best record way before the last game of the season. Even in his early years, he was known to play through anything and everything in order to destroy. Kobe is built in the same mold. LeBron seems more concerned about dancing these days.
With all his physical gifts and potential, this is why people doubt that LeBron will go down as a top 3, if not #1, best player ever.
By: nayfel
On: 3/10/2010 5:05:00 PM
Also, in terms of fantasy, this really rings true and has a big effect on the categories and overall placement.
I am pretty sure I read on RotoWire to be more concerned with FG and FT percentages than counting stats when drafting your teams and during trades early into the year. That makes a lot of sense because if the bottom half of the teams give up or even simply don't keep track daily of what's happening, then you can pass people just by staying on top of the box scores. Now, there is a reason these teams are in the bottom half and they probably aren't in front of many teams that are still in contention, but taking a quick look at where a few teams are in certain categories and making assumptions about their lack of following their team can really help you target other categories and trade for other more pressing needs.
I used this just recently when looking at a deal which would have sacrificed 3s for rebs and I made the deal because two of the 4 teams around me in 3s don't seem to be following anymore and it allowed me t deal it with less worry.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 3/12/2010 11:23:00 PM
Most of the major sports (NBA, NHL, MLB) should reduce their schedule, but I don't see them giving up all that revenue. And it's ridiculous that the NFL is seriously considering a longer season when there are so many obvious reasons against it.

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