The NBA is back! With the NBA returning with the new 22 team format, there are some clear winners and losers.
The first winners are all of the extra invite teams who are outside of the current playoff picture. These teams are the Kings, Suns, Pelicans, Spurs, Trailblazers, and Wizards. They are all invited to the eight extra regular-season games with a chance at the playoffs.
This opportunity gives players one more chance to prove their team deserves to get into the playoffs. It also gives some young players like Zion Williamson more time to be on TV.
The first losers are older teams or teams with older players due to the condensed timeline of games to play. Players who are injury-prone also have a disadvantage because of the number of games they have to play in a two-and-a-half-month timeline. This condensed timeline could cause older and injury-prone players to struggle.
Some of the players that come to mind are LeBron James and Chris Paul. LeBron James is older but has done a miraculous job to stay healthy throughout his career, but Chris Paul always seems to have postseason injuries that hinder his career.
The second winners are younger teams and teams with more depth, which should be obvious and contrast the older teams. The younger players have had less time to play and are less likely for injury, while teams with more depth can have players play a longer rotation then they usually would.
Some teams that come to mind are the Mavericks, Nuggets, Raptors, and Celtics who are generally younger teams. The Bucks and Pelicans are also teams with more depth who can play longer rotations.
The next losers are teams with home-court advantage due to the shared location of games. Besides whoever the higher-seeded teams are matched up against, the point of regular season seeding is to determine who gains home-court advantage in the playoffs. There have been many ideas thrown around for how to compensate, but nothing has been determined.
Image: USA Today