Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki heard about the NBA experimenting with shorter games in the preseason, but he has another idea. He would like to see a shorter season, as in fewer games, rather than games with 11-minute quarters instead of 12.
A workable number of games, in his view, would be somewhere in the mid-60s, a significant reduction from the current 82-game schedule. More problematic from Nowitzki’s perspective is the number of back-to-back games on consecutive days. At the same time, Nowitzki is a realist and recognizes the schedule is revenue driven.
“I think you don’t need 82 games to determine the best eight in each conference,” Nowitzki said Wednesday. “That could be done a lot quicker, but I always understand that it’s about money, and every missed game means missed money for both parties, for the league, for the owners, for the players.’
The NBA will experiement with a 44-minute game when the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics meet Sunday.
—The Mavericks signed 5-foot-7 Japanese point guard Yuki Togashi on Wednesday.
Terms of the deal for the free agent were not disclosed. Togashi, who weighs 143 pounds, was most recently a member of the Mavericks’ NBA Summer League team. In his four games, he averaged 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds while shooting .467 from the field.
The team’s plan reportedly is for the 21-year-old Togashi to spend the rest of the preseason with the Mavs before joining their D-League affiliate Texas Legends.
—Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, who was sidelined since December with a torn right pectoral muscle, returned to game action Tuesday night.
In the Hawks’ 109-103 preseason win over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, the 27-year-old Horford played 11 first-half minutes before sitting out the second half. He recorded two points, two assists and one rebound.
On Dec. 26, Horford was injured while playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the time, the 6-foot-10 veteran led the team in scoring (18.6 points per game), field-goal percentage (.567; seventh in the league), rebounding (8.4 per game) and blocks per game (1.5 per game; 13th) while adding 2.6 assists in 33.0 minutes per game in 29 games.
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