National Basketball Association
Rivers expresses thoughts on shortening preseason
National Basketball Association

Rivers expresses thoughts on shortening preseason

Published Oct. 23, 2014 3:01 a.m. ET

Wednesday night the Clippers got what was likely the closest thing they're going to get to a real regular season game in a 108-105 win over Phoenix.

It was preseason game No. 7.

Or three more than head coach Doc Rivers feels needs to be played in the preseason.

The Clippers have one more preseason game which will be the standard eighth before they can finally get ready for the regular season.


It's been a hot topic recently. Is the NBA preseason too long?

Rivers and others inside the team locker room say yes. Blake Griffin jokingly said he wouldn't mind if just one preseason game were played.

"I think four," Rivers said. "I really do. I'm a big believer in that. I think if you play four preseason games and start the season a week earlier with the same amount of games now you can stretch the season. You don't have as many back-to-backs. You can take away some of the four (games) in five (nights.) I think that would go a long way for us.

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"The big issue, from what I see, is the four (games) in five (nights) and the back-to-backs and so I think the fans would appreciate it. It would be better basketball, more rested teams. We have some of these TV games where guys have played five games in eight nights and they're on the road and the game looks terrible because they're tired."

There are other topics that were thrown at Rivers. About the 82-game regular season being shortened?

"I don't think (it's) very realistic," he said.

About the game being cut from 48 minutes to 44 minutes?

"I'm not sure if I like that or not," he said. "I just don't know yet. I didn't look at the game (Sunday between the Celtics and the Nets). I haven't talked to (Celtics head coach) Brad (Stevens) or anybody about the game. I can't wait to talk to them to figure out what they thought but I don't know."  

The preseason being four games, however, is something he's certain of. Even with the numerous exhibition games that are played out of the country, Rivers says that still shouldn't affect the number of preseason games that are played.

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"The first preseason game would be (out of the country) or your first two," Rivers said. "You come back and you have a ton of time still if you took it to four (preseason games) and you can still start the season a week earlier. I think it would be good."


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