Thursday, August 03, 2006

NBA Schedule & Rule changes

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News wise we’re in that quiet part of the NBA off-season –- the draft is over, the major trading and FA signing period is over and we’re yet to get to the World Championships or the NBA regular season.

So the NBA has released its 2006-07 Schedule to add a bit of expected controversy. As expected, the Blazers have been shown no respect when it comes to National/International TV coverage. There will be no nationally televised games featuring potential Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy. In LeBron James' rookie season (2003-04) his Cleveland Cavs were shown 15 times nationally, despite not been televised for almost three years prior. The Cavs this season have been assigned the maximum number of nationally televised games with 33 (no other team has that many).
Christmas Day will once again feature the fugazi rivalry between Shaq & Kobe with the only game that day being Lakers v Heat. The Blazers will travel to Seattle for their first game of the season, whilst facing Bassy and Theo in Portland on New Years Day.

The NBA has announced changes to the playoff seedings rules. To avoid the controversy of previous seasons’ playoffs, where top teams were forced to match up in early rounds, the format has been “tweaked.” The 3 division winners and the team with the next highest place in the conference will be seeded based on their records. This will stop the scenario which arose last season where Dallas and San Antonio were forced to meet in the second round of the playoffs, despite Dallas having a better record than Phoenix and Denver in the other matchup.
In other changes:
- Teams will be now allowed to carry 15 players on their roster for the playoffs
- If a team has two full timeouts in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or OT, one will be reduced to a 20-second TO.
All changes for the good.

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