Veteran Celtics Could Struggle with Compressed 72 Game Schedule
Chicago tonight, Portland tomorrow, & Miami the next day?
As I have been fearing for almost a year now, it looks like when the lockout ends (not a guarantee that it will next week) and the season begins on December 15th, the NBA will move to make-up several of the missed games in order to maximize revenue. This means even though a month and a half of games will have been missed (approximately 23 games), instead of playing a 59 game season (which would benefit a veteran team like the C's), we will have a crammed 72 game season.
Expect more back to backs and several 5 game weeks. It will take a great marathon outlook on Doc Rivers part in order to enable the Celtics to still have legs come playoff time. Doc will have to limit the Big 3's minutes and/or rest them completely on some nights. Jermaine O'Neal too. Doc will have to play rookie JaJuan Johnson at times down the stretch of a game, when KG really is needed. Assuming that he comes back, Jeff Green will have to be a go to guy on days that Pierce and KG need rest. Danny will have to find a couple additional centers (on the cheap) to make up for the two he traded last winter (Perk and Semih).
There was no way the NBA wouldn't compress a shortened season. Too much money to lose. This is the reason I never understood the argument from knowledgeable Celtics fans that a shortened season would somehow help the Celtics. It's the exact opposite. Let's hope Doc takes the long view and sacrifices some games during the regular season in order to give us a shot at #18 come springtime. And as fans, hopefully we will respect that the C's vets won't play every game or will have to have their minutes reduced significantly.
There is no guarantee the players will accept the deal next week. If they don't accept it. Then things get worse. Either there will be no season or an even more compressed season (with back to back to backs) will be scheduled once the greedy owners and players finally do reach a deal.