How many games in nba 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.
Kia NBA Tip-Off 2023
The first five days of the 2023-24 NBA regular season (Oct. 24-28) will feature 10 national television games as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2023, with two doubleheaders each on TNT and ESPN and one on NBA TV. Those games will showcase 14 different teams, three rematches from the 2023 NBA Playoffs and rosters that currently include 17 NBA All-Star selections from last season and seven recipients of the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
The regular season will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 24 with a doubleheader on TNT, marking Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ 40th consecutive year of NBA coverage. In the first game, the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets will receive their championship rings before hosting the Los Angeles Lakers in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals (7:30 p.m. ET). In the second game, the Phoenix Suns will visit the Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET) as three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal of Phoenix and 12-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of Golden State make regular-season debuts with new teams and Paul faces the team for whom he played the previous three seasons.
ESPN will tip off its 22nd straight season of NBA telecasts on Wednesday, Oct. 25 with a doubleheader, which begins with the Boston Celtics visiting the New York Knicks (7 p.m. ET) in a matchup of teams that reached the Eastern Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Semifinals, respectively, last season. The San Antonio Spurs will host the Dallas Mavericks in the second game (9:30 p.m. ET), marking the NBA regular-season debut of 2023 first overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama of San Antonio.
On Thursday, Oct. 26, intraconference rivalries will highlight TNT’s doubleheader as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Philadelphia 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Suns take on the Lakers in Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET). ESPN’s doubleheader on Friday, Oct. 27 will have the Miami Heat meeting the Celtics in Boston (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Warriors visiting the Sacramento Kings (10 p.m. ET) – rematches from seven-game playoff series in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals and Western Conference First Round, respectively.
NBA TV will begin its live game coverage of the new season on Saturday, Oct. 28 as the Knicks visit the New Orleans Pelicans (7 p.m. ET) and the Suns host the Utah Jazz (10 p.m. ET).
How many games are in the NBA season?
You’ve probably heard this before, but the NBA season can be long and grueling. But just how long and grueling is it?
Well, the answer to that varies depending on how good (or bad) your team is. Despite many pushing for shortened seasons, normal NBA years (including this upcoming one) consist of an 82-game regular season. So, that means that every team is guaranteed at least 82 games.
We say “normal NBA years” because, sometimes, the season can be shortened by exigent circumstances. For instance, the 2019-20 season was only 72 games because of COVID-19, and the 2011-12 season was cut to just 66 games because of a lockout.
(Sidebar: for the first time ever, the 2023-24 NBA Regular Season will feature an In-Season Tournament that will count toward each team’s 82-game schedule.)
After the regular season, the length of each team’s season depends on the team’s success. Some middling teams end up in the Play-In Tournament. And depending on seeding in performance, that can be an additional game or two played. Our New Orleans Pelicans have been a part of the play-in tournament in each of the last two seasons.
Then there is the game’s second season, aka the NBA Playoffs. If you make the playoffs, you are guaranteed to play at least four more games. Theoretically speaking, the maximum amount of games one could play in the playoffs is 28. That would only happen, though, if you played in four straight seven-game series’ (and emerged victorious in all four of them).
If you made it through an entire normal regular season, played in both play-in games, and played the maximum number of playoff games, the most games you could play in an entire season would be 114. However, we have yet to have a situation like that come about. But then again, we’ve only had three play-in tournaments so far.
The closest a team has come to hitting that 114 games played mark is the Miami Heat. In 2022-23, they played 82 games, two play-in games, and 23 playoff games. So, in total, they played 107 games last year.
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