The NBA was swinging for the fences when they released the 2022-23 schedule on Wednesday.
Within the schedule were many expected matchups, like the Christmas Day showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
But there were also a few surprises, some of them very pleasant.
Another NBA schedule note:
Kudos to the league for making sure there are afternoon games on almost every weekend this season. Either Saturday or Sunday, or sometimes both, feature starts before 6:00 PM ET.
I love matinee hoops, and I know the European audience loves these too!
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 18, 2022
One of the smartest choices by the NBA was to include so many afternoon games during nearly every weekend in the season.
There are many games that start before 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays of the season, which is good news for people who don’t want to be watching basketball long into the night.
This is yet another sign that the league is trying to appeal to basketball fans of all walks of life.
There are many games to fit into the 2022-23 schedule and the NBA is smart to try to set numerous matches for the evening as well as earlier in the day.
This is particularly true for Sunday games.
Because of different time zones, some fans are watching basketball past midnight, with work right around the corner on Monday morning.
With some West Coast games not starting until 8 p.m. local time, certain fans in the eastern United States could be turning off the TV close to 1 a.m.
The NBA is trying to make watching basketball more appealing for all types of fans.
They are trying to understand that an easier schedule for fans means that more people will watch.
It’ll be interesting to see if the ratings for these afternoon games tick up a bit in the new season.
Even if they don’t, it is still a considerate and smart move by the league.