Preseason - what's the point?

Published by Yoshi on 15th October - 17:00 (CET)
The 2016 NBA preseason is underway and among the highlights so far we have seen what the new look Warriors are capable of in their 120 - 75 response to Doc Rivers' "no gap" comment, we've seen Russell Westbrook take off nearly from the foul line against Barcelona for a vicious slam, and we have seen that the 76ers played a few games. We didn't see the actual games, of course, since they are the 76ers, but we did notice that they played which is great for them, you know. Exercise is important.

But we have also seen some lowlights with players such as Gordon Hayward, Gary Harris and Ben Simmons sustaining injuries which will likely keep them out of their regular season openers and beyond. With these injuries, and possibly more to come in the remaining preseason games, one has to wonder if there is even a point in having weeks of intense workouts and games ahead of the regular season. Granted, injuries can happen in any practice or while doing knuckle pushups, but with 82 regular season games, including plenty of back-to-backs with current scheduling, maybe it would make more sense to start the regular season earlier and just cut out the preseason?

Let's break it down, starting with the pro's of having a preseason:
  • Younger/new players get a chance to make the teams
  • Teams get to mesh and bond before the games start to matter
  • Jimmer Fredette gets to be relevant again
And the cons:
  • Risk of injuries is increased
  • Stars generally don't play many minutes or crunch time so entertainment value is very low
  • Jimmer Fredette gets to be relevant again
Whether or not the preseason gives any indication on how the upcoming season will unfold for the teams can be debated, but the good folks over at did the numbers and showed that the answer is "well kinda, sorta but not really". So scientifically speaking preseason success doesn't really matter that much.

By just starting the NBA season earlier and cutting out the preseason we might get a bit sloppier play at the start of the season, but then again, with the games having an influence on playoff positioning immediately, maybe we wouldn't.

Well, as you can see, we're not really getting anywhere and I don't really care either because I just want the real season to start now so we can get to that Warriors - Cavs Finals rematch already! Oh, first to February 11th, then to the Finals rematch.

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