The Blazers’ 60-Point Loss To The Heat Is The Latest Proof That The NBA Regular Season Must Be Shortened

Heat Blazers
Bally Sports

Thank goodness the NCAA Tournament, DJ Burns and NC State are occupying most of basketball fans’ attention at the minute. Even toss in the women’s college game and Caitlin Clark, whose Final Four ticket sales are outselling the dudes.

When it comes to the NBA, yes, there is still Victor Wembanyama’s future to look forward to, as he’s still doing ridiculous things on a nightly basis, like dragging the limp-d*ck Spurs to an overtime win over the playoff-bound, resurgent Knicks despite 61 points by Jalen Brunson.

But you’d be forgiven for missing out on that viewing experience. Partially because of local TV contracts in the NBA markets, but also because the NBA regular season is too damn long. There was a stretch earlier this season where three players scored 60+ points in a game in a two-week span. Don’t think I’ve seen that in my lifetime. Don’t think I heard literally anybody talking about it a matter of days after it happened.

Since there’s such a lack of stakes in a single given contest over the course of an 82-game regular season, not only are ratings down along with fan interest. Players are sleepwalking on the court half the time. True title contenders have to somehow finesse caring enough to win enough games for playoff seeding purposes, but at the same time, making sure their biggest stars are fresh for when the games, you know, actually matter.

Then you get hopeless cases like the Portland Trail Blazers. They were forced to trade away Damian Lillard because they failed him for his entire career. The most loyal superstar you ever did see. Portland drafted Scoot Henderson third overall, on the heels of a G League season where he shot 42.9% from the field and 27.5% from 3-point range. As if that was going to fix everything and come close to making up for Dame’s departure.

Not to be too hard on Scoot. No offense to him. Almost nobody this side of Wemby could make a legit positive impact for the Blazers right now. But like…come on. What are we doing here?

Yeah, what else could the team’s X/Twitter account handler post other than a snapshot of a collective commiserating kumbaya? Put the Blazers out of their damn misery already. If you’re going to play this piss-poorly or construct a team that has zero chance to do anything, in lieu of a unicorn-of-unicorns sensation like Wembanyama, it’s only going to tarnish the organization’s image and that of the NBA as a whole.

This was almost as bad as the All-Star Game in terms of the effort Portland gave. This is what you get when the Give-a-F*ck-O-Meter runs out on a tanking team. The in-season tournament actually added some excitement to the otherwise “meh” beginning of the regular season. They need, like, three of those to give teams something to play for.

Disgraceful. Imagine how Deandre Ayton feels. The Phoenix Suns’ former No. 1 overall pick got shipped away to Portland after being a malcontent/ingrate/whiny guy who couldn’t help them get over the hump. Somehow couldn’t get along with the ultimate players coach in Monty Williams, who, in another instance of awful NBA product, is the highest-paid coach in the NBA whilst presiding over a 13-61 Detroit Pistons squad. LOL.

Let’s check in to see how Monty and the ‘Stons are doing!

With a shorter regular season, you wouldn’t see these bad teams dying such a slow, painful death. Make it like 55 games. That’s still plenty of time to decide who’s a contender and who’s a pretender. Even teams who tank can at least make a push for, say, 25 to 30 games, and then you’d only have about 20 to 25 games of embarrassing futility.

As the system is now, we have bad teams racing to the bottom, some mediocre teams try-harding through the regular season only to get blown away in the playoffs, other mediocre teams in basketball no man’s land, and contenders just trying to survive without getting their best guys hurt, which again, waters down the overall product.

If Draymond Green can’t get kicked out of the NBA, at least Adam Silver could have the decency to shorten the regular season, and within that, create one, maybe two additional in-season tournaments to give fans more of that March Madness feel, not to mention greater incentive for players to try. Scarcity of games is a big reason why the NFL is crushing every other North American sport. The NBA needs to adapt, and fast, because what’s going on right now ain’t working.

Heat-Blazers highlights are below if you can stomach them.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock