Get Ready for the Scrubs

The NBA season is too long - especially when you include best of seven series in every round of the playoffs. As a result, around this time of year, you're going to see players break down, shut it down or sit out so they can get healthy for the playoffs.

Just this week - Tracy McGrady declared himself out for the year, Manu Ginobili went on the shelf for 2-3 weeks, Danny Granger is out for three weeks, Tyson Chandler was returned to sender, Greg Oden's missed time with knee problems and Chris Bosh is nursing a knee injury. Of course, Elton Brand, Michael Redd, Al Jefferson and Jameer Nelson are already out for the year, while Andrew Bynum and Mike Dunleavy might be, and Andrew Bogut, Chris Kaman and Carlos Boozer are all currently banged up.

But it's likely to get far worse, which is a major headache (and opportunity) for fantasy owners. Personally I prefer to win because I drafted the best team, not because I'm the quickest to make a pickup, or I struck gold with my FAAB dollars. Injuries are unavoidable in sports, but if the NBA season was, say 50-60 games instead of 82, and the season spanned the same timeframe, with fewer games per week, you'd get more teams at full strength more often, and players able to go all out on a consistent basis. You'd also get to watch a higher percentage of the games since there would be fewer on at the same time.

The NBA would never give up that extra revenue, but over the long haul, that could be short sighted because it creates more unwatchable games (when out-of-contention teams are fielding scrubs, and contending teams are sitting their stars for much of the second half) and less fan interest. Sometimes putting out the best possible product is more important than maximizing short-term revenue.

So as February ends and March rolls around, get ready for the scrubs - they're going to log more minutes around the league when stars go down.


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