Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/19/12 at 04:00 PM ET
from Mark Kreidler at ESPN,
When the NBA's lockout ended late last year and the league resolved to grab every buck left trembling on any table, there were some things about the resulting compressed schedule that could be fairly easily predicted. After all, this happened in 1998-99, and anyone who remembers that erratic 50-game lurch to the playoffs could have a clue as to how it would go in 2011-12.
Poor play was almost a given. Injuries, as a likely determining factor for several playoff hopefuls, would be -- and already are -- a massive and constant companion to the ramped-up schedule.
Then there is temper, which in most cases is likely to be short... Take the most competitive players in the world, deny them adequate training time, put them into ridiculous travel schedules, cram 66 games into 123 days, and see what happens....
Jeff Van Gundy, the ESPN and ABC analyst and former head coach, said recently that the crummy play on display nightly was something the owners (and the players' union, for that matter) could have avoided, or at least modified.
"It was in the control of the league and the players to make it possibly better by not cramming so much into a short period of time," Van Gundy told USA Today. "It's a choice they made to take money over quality. You can't begrudge them."
more on the NBA playing a condensed schedule...
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