Blogtable: Will new Finals schedule be a big thing or not?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

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VIDEONBA Finals Mini-Movie — Game 6

> There’s a new schedule for the NBA Finals this season, giving teams two full days of rest before all but one game (just one day of rest before Game 4). Is this a big thing, a little thing, or much ado about nothing?

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: It’s a thing only in the sense that the extra days off will make it difficult for the series to generate momentum. The suspicion is there will be choppier, less consistent play game to game.

Steve Aschburner, Two days matters when there’s a city change involved – that is, between Games 2-3, Games 4-5 and each one after that. One day would be fine between Games 1-2, especially if there’s a gap of several days between the conference championships and the start of The Finals. I’ll rank this as a little thing that now complements the big thing of switching back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format. It sure did seem to bug the Cavaliers this year (even if it didn’t alter the outcome) that they spent more time in a hotel than the Warriors did and got fewer nights at home during the series. And allowing for travel days, separate from practice days, across two or three time zones does make sense.

Fran Blinebury, Not a big, big deal. But in a situation like the one from last season when the Cavs were running out of bodies and a guy like Matthew Dellavedova was literally worn out and had to be hospitalized from exhaustion, it should provide a little help and keep the level of play slightly higher for the league’s showcase event. You hate to see a championship decided with fatigue as a significant reason.

Scott Howard-Cooper, Pretty big thing. What matters in that situation is that the teams are in position to play their best. The calendar squeeze of one day off between games when that day could potentially include long travel did not allow that. The updated plan does. One day would be enough when both games are in the same city. But the two on travel days is the important part. Good move.

John Schuhmann, It’s definitely a good thing in that it should make for a higher level of competition, with players getting an extra day of rest after traveling across the country. A 2-2-1-1-1 series that goes the distance can be a real grind once it gets to Game 4, even when the teams are in the same conference. That’s why they should have kept the 2-3-2 format (for The Finals) in the first place.

Sekou Smith, As anyone who has to go back and forth across the country during a grueling six or seven game slugfest in The Finals will attest, any extra bit of rest should not be dismissed. So it’s potentially a big thing, depending on the respective health of the teams involved in The Finals. But there’s honestly no guarantee that it’ll matter every season. If you have a sweep or a series decided in five games, I doubt anyone will concern themselves with the schedule.

Ian Thomsen, It’s a smart thing. Why not give the best players the extra day to recover, rehab injuries and respond to adjustments? No one ever remembers the time off — all that matters is the performance, and this can only help.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I don’t think it’s a thing at all. I’m sure it’s helpful from a production standpoint, as the NBA Finals are a movable feast of basketball, and it ain’t easy to ship media and cameras and players back and forth between coasts with only one day of turnaround time. While I suppose this could slow the momentum of the Finals a tad, I don’t think you’ll hear any players complaining about more time off.


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