Travel schedules for professional sports teams are always a topic of discussion and today we tackle it head on.
You see, this is something fans don’t really think about. They don’t spend time wondering what a team’s travel schedule is. They don’t care. All they care about is that the team is ready to go at their scheduled start time in the scheduled stadium. Most fans could care less about how the team actually gets there.
There’s no doubt that travel schedules for professional sports teams are very hectic. They are always on the road and have very long seasons. Think about the times you have personally gone on vacation. Think about all the stress that goes into it and all the excessive planning you have to do. Transportation, hotel, food, entertainment, etc. It is a lot of work.
Now imagine if you are an NBA team who has to travel 45 times over the course of like 5 months. Heck, I’m stressed out just thinking about all the ridiculous travel planning that goes into it.
Teams will typically fly into the opposing city immediately following their previous game. So if the Cavs play the Pistons on Monday night, they would fly out of Detroit on Monday night, arrive in New York early Tuesday morning around 2am, and not play the Knicks until Wednesday night. But the Cavs have changed up their scheduling because they are an old team and wanted more rest. It can be very tiring getting on a flight right after a game and not arriving in the next city until 2-3am.
This season they are changing how they approach trips, choosing to stay over in the city where they played and flying out the next day after each leg.
"The biggest thing for recovery is sleep," Cavs head athletic trainer Steve Spiro told ESPN. "There isn't anything better, and for these guys that are taxing their bodies through travel and through their workload on the court, and practice, and extra work or whatever, we can have all the technology in the world, but obviously a great night's sleep plays a role into performance. There's no doubt about it. So you have to have your finger on the pulse of it."
This makes a lot of sense to me. The Cavs had the oldest roster in the league at the start of the season, with an average age of 30.3 years old. They need their rest and sleep in order to be at maximum potential. It doesn’t do anybody any good to be traveling very late and having their bodies be sluggish.
The Cavs new technique has worked well so far. The team is playing better on the road and players seem to like it a lot more.
"We're old, man," said James, who turns 33 next month. "Whenever we get a chance to stay over for the night this season, we have to do that."
And as we all know, if LeBron is happy, that certainly carries the most weight!