As fans, we're all elated that basketball will be back for Christmas, but how do the players and staffs feel about this early beginning? Some teams are benefiting and some teams are not, let's see who is who.
I'll start off with the obvious, and that's rest. In my opinion, rest is the second most important factor to a successful basketball player or team behind actual talent and skill, third would be mental health. The teams that are the most well rested are obviously the teams who didn't even make the bubble, which include the Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Warriors, Knicks, Timberwolves, Cavs, and Pistons. Specifically, I'm looking for the Warriors to flourish in the early restart because of the rest and regrouping they've been able to have. To add on top of that, other Western Conference teams will still be dragging from their long bubble playoff runs. This gives the Warriors a figurative "head start" to the season as they'll look to take advantage of these teams.
We mentioned rest, but those teams who made deep playoff runs will benefit as well. Although it has been taxing on their bodies, they continued to play through the bubble, giving them more experience and more chances to evaluate and change plays on offense and defense. Teams that did not play in the bubble were not able to have that experience, therefore, they don't really know what works and what doesn't on both sides of the ball.
Now that we've mentioned the benefits, let's mention the downsides to the early start and who will be at the disadvantage. First up, we have the players who made deep runs in the playoffs. Normally, they would look forward to months of relaxation and recovery, but now, they are looking at a couple of weeks until training camp. Other players that are getting the worst of the restart are long time injured players such as John Wall, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant. With the accelerated training camp process, it will make it more of a challenge for them to get back in the rhythm of things. Free agents will be at a disadvantage as well. They won't have as long to prepare and practice for the upcoming season with their new team. It's not just players who are at a disadvantage, it's coaches and team staffs as well. Think about the time GMs and staffs have to prepare for the draft, not much time, and the time they do have is considerably less than the time they would normally have. The early start makes things harder for the coaching staff as well, as they will have lesser time to fit in rookies to the depth chart as well as come up with gameplans and play calls.
All in all, the early start to the season benefits the fans and the NBA as a business, but not the players, coaches, and front office staffs, as they don't get enough rest or preparation before the new season.
That's all for now, until next time, remember, the season starts December 22nd, so we will have Christmas Day basketball! Thanks for reading!