Who Will Benefit from a Lockout Shortened NBA Season?

It is already a given that should the players and owners reach an agreement for a new National Basketball Association Collective Bargaining Agreement, it won’t be win.  In other words both sides will have lost.  Both sides will have lost the PR battle by looking like a bunch of rich kids squabbling over details of an agreement that will put millions in their pockets.  And they may have lost the tangible battle by squandering more money in cancelled games this season than the difference between their final offer and the other sides, i.e. if either side had accepted the other’s final offer they would have made more money than they will right now if the other side caves.

But which teams will benefit from a lockout shortened season?

Judging from the 50 game season in 1999, teams with a minimum of player churn, continuity in their system and stellar defense will excel.  Teams that go through a lot of turnover will struggle.  The teams that fit that description best are the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the San Antonio Spurs.

The NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are likely to join this crowd if the new CBA enables to teams to re-sign their own free agents easily.

In other words most the NBA’s elite eight from last season figure to return to the top.  That’s how it was in 1999 too.

The teams that may struggle for a minute include the Los Angeles Lakers as new coach Mike Brown develops working relationships with Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace (which was actually kind of fun to type), and Pau Gasol.  I’m not saying the Lakers will fall out of the playoff picture but quick starts by their rivals could leave them vying for a lower seed then the Staples faithful are accustomed to.

Overall the bigger the roster construction issue, the more a team is likely to slip a bit, though some teams like the ’99 Knicks may get it together late in the season and make strong playoff run.   The Houston Rockets might be the best candidate for that spot.

Of course all of this is idle speculation while we see if a deal will be reached.  I’m growing more and more pessimistic each passing day.

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About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at thejoyofcheese.blogspot.com. In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and www.theroot.com. I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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2 Responses to Who Will Benefit from a Lockout Shortened NBA Season?

  1. Gary Hill says:

    So the league’s new slogan could be, sure, the basketball isn’t as good, but at least there’s less of it.

  2. jmartin437 says:

    No kidding! The next NBA dispatch is going to deal with how a lockout shortened season will hammer the recent upswing in scoring. In ’99, some defenses were allowing 84 points a game, which is fine but that isn’t all defensive excellence. There was a lot of offensive ineptitude.

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