The last two seasons suffered game cuts due to the Coronavirus and the Olympic Games, but for the new season 2021-22 the number of games returns to normal with a total of 82 games for the 30 teams that make up the Western and Eastern Conference. Most importantly, this season is special as the NBA celebrates the 75th anniversary since the founding of the league.
All 30 NBA teams have enough time to reach the playoffs with 82 games on the schedule, each team will play 82 games this season, 10 games more than last season when the tournament was cut to give time to the players who were going to play in the Olympic Games.
Fans want to see the teams playing as many games as possible, but this year it will be difficult for the arenas to allow full capacity as there are still strong measures against sporting events in some cities in the United States.
NBA 2021-22: How many total games are in the NBA 2021/22 season?
The original format returns to 82 games after two seasons with 67 and 72 games, the 2019-20 season was shortened by the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020-21 by the aforementioned, the Olympic Games. It is not the first time that a game cut has happened, but it is the first time since the 1967-68 season that the season has been cut twice in a row.
Have the teams always played 82 games in the NBA season?
The answer is no, the first official NBA season was in 1946-47, the 11 teams then played a total of 60-61 games including the playoffs and the finals that was won by the Washington Capitols. The following season, 1947-48, the games were reduced to just 48 for each team. It wasn't until the 1953-54 season that the NBA imposed a minimum number of 70 games, teams played at least 72 games until the early 1960s.
The 82-game-per-season format began in the 1967-68 season with two new teams for a total of 12 teams and gradually more teams for a total of 22 teams joined in the 1979-80 season. The first time games were cut in the 82 format was in the 1998-99 season during the lockout, then again in 2012 for another lockout, and the following year in 2013 for a terrorist attack in Boston.