How many games in basketball season? To win an NBA title, a team can rest easy knowing that they’ve gone through a travel gauntlet to prove themselves. Every NBA team travels to the other 29 teams in the league (unless you’re the Clippers or Lakers, then you only have to travel to 28 other teams) at least once per year.
To fit the regular season schedule in a window of about seven months, it takes some hectic scheduling. But how many games do teams play, overall?
How many games are in an NBA season?
Each team in a standard season plays 82 games. That means in total, an NBA season is comprised of 1,230 games.
The 82-game season came to be in 1967-68, but there have been recent discussions of the possibility of shortening it.
NBA teams played between 68 and 80 games per season before the 82-game schedule was formally adopted.
Exceptions include the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season (50 games), the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season (66 games) and the 2019-20 season that was shortened and moved by the Coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in teams playing varying amounts of games.
What is the case for shortening the NBA season?
The NBA’s length has come under scrutiny in recent years in part due to the topic of load management. The grueling nature of the schedule, which occasionally includes back-to-backs or multiple games in a short window of time, tends to put a lot of pressure on star players. Those with injury history (or even without injury history) are sometimes strategically rested.
This is suboptimal for the NBA’s business model since its players are who paying customers want to see, both in person and on television.
Ultimately, with 82 games, they each mean less, as well. Losing three games in a row means much more if there were 60-70 games than when there are 82 of them. A limited schedule would up the intensity and, in theory, make things more exciting. The idea of fewer games to sell tickets for might scare owners, but if fans are more engaged for sixty games, the demand could potentially increase.
How many games are in the NBA season?
The regular season is a challenging marathon for everyone involved in the NBA. From weight training, rigorous practices, and meticulous film sessions to physical therapy, nonstop travel, and near-nightly media availability, there is limited time for players and staff to rest and recover. And that doesn’t even account for the 82 games each team squeezes into their schedule from October to April.
While a routine regular season is 82 games, extenuating circumstances can significantly shorten that schedule. There were just 72 games during the 2019-20 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the NBA has expereinced a handful of lockouts over the years when players and the league office can’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement within a suitable timeframe.
You may be wondering how the inaugural In-Season Tournament impacts the 2023-24 schedule, and that answer is fairly straightforward. Every game from the group stages and knockout rounds counts toward the 82 regular season matchups every organization has on its slate. The championship game, however, will not count in the standings for the two teams that compete for the NBA Cup.
The regular season is an arduous journey that leads to the Play-In Tournament and NBA Playoffs for a select few franchises. If a club participated in both rounds of the Play-In, had four consecutive seven-game series, and made it to the championship of the In-Season Tournament, they could suit up for as many as 113 games in a single campaign. That is some serious strain on the mind and body.
The San Antonio Spurs have gone on several prolonged postseason runs throughout the celebrated history of their franchise, but the 2002-03 season stands alone in the record books. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich navigated the Silver and Black to a 60-22 record during the regular season and a 16-8 record in the playoffs en route to their second title, adding up to a whopping 106 games.
When does the NBA 2023-24 preseason begin?
The 2023 FIBA World Cup kept basketball fans’ stomachs full. Now it’s time for the last push until the NBA resumes.
Germany won the gold medal vs. Serbia in the World Cup for the first time in its history, with Dennis Schroder taking home the MVP award. Team USA went home emptyhanded after falling to Dillon Brooks and Canada in the bronze medal game.
But Schroder, Brooks and several other NBA stars who competed in the World Cup in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia will soon report to their respective teams to begin preseason action.
Here’s what to know about the 2023-24 NBA preseason:
When does NBA preseason start?
The 2023-24 NBA preseason will get underway on Thursday, Oct. 5 when the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves compete in Abu Dhabi.
When is the NBA 2023-24 start date?
Opening night of the new campaign will start shortly after on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The full list of key dates for the new season can be viewed here.
How many games are in the 2023-24 NBA season?
Each of the 30 NBA teams will play 82 games from October through April. That total includes the brand-new in-season tournament that will begin on Friday, Nov. 3.
UConn and Michigan share the record for most games played (41)
Division I teams played anywhere from 29 games (teams like Cal Poly, Charlotte, New Hampshire, UTEP) to 40 games (Auburn) in the 2018-19 season. The number of games on a school’s schedule often depends on the strength of a team.
The more games you win in the postseason, the more games you play and the higher your season total.
The NCAA record for games played in a season is 41 games, held by UConn’s 2011 national championship team and Michigan’s national runner-up team in 2018. Seventeen teams have played 40 games in a season, most recently Auburn.
That 2011 UConn team played five games in the Big East tournament and six games in the NCAA tournament, winning all 11 and both tournaments. While the Huskies had played just 30 games at the end of the regular season, they played almost a dozen more as they tore through postseason play.
How the college basketball schedule works
A college basketball season is broken down into a few segments: non-conference play, conference play, conference tournaments and postseason tournaments. The number of games in conference play varies by conference with the ACC, Big Sky, Big Ten, MAAC, Southland and Sun Belt conferences playing 20-game schedules in 2019-2020 and the Ivy League playing a national-low 14 conference games.
Some teams take part in non-conference multi-team events, or MTEs, that are held in November and December. In April 2020, the Division I Council passed legislation that allows men’s basketball programs to schedule up to 28 regular-season games and participate in an MTE that has up to three games, or 29 regular-season games while participating in an MTE that has up to two games, for a total of 31 games in either scheduling option.
In some conferences, teams could play up to five games in their conference tournaments. In other conferences, not every team qualifies for its conference’s tournament and there’s always the possibility that a first-round loss limits the number of games that a team plays in a season.
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