Nets OK with delay
Considering their lame-duck status in New Jersey, the Nets would prefer the NBA calendar simply flip to 2012-13, when they become the Brooklyn Nets. The NBA's ultimate limbo franchise, awaiting not only a new location but a new arena, the Nets still are looking to add one more piece to their core while trying to lock up Deron Williams.
In a perfect world, the Nets don't have to bother with another game in front of sparse crowds in Newark. By contrast, the team that least benefits from an extended lockout is the Heat, with each day without basketball meaning a day without the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Remember, that clock is ticking, with each of the three eligible to opt out of their contracts in the 2014 offseason. Micky Arison and Pat Riley will never have as much to sell as they do now.
Celtics need the rest
The Celtics stand to gain the most from an extended lockout. Though it's somewhat cliche to say older teams prosper from rest, it certainly applies to the Celtics' Big Three. Kevin Garnett might have shin splints older than Derrick Rose. And all that mileage has limited his impact over the course of 82 games.
But in a shortened season and with a veteran team, Garnett can still be effective. Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen thrive in the defense-oriented, halfcourt world of playoff hoops.
Along those lines, the Heat benefit the least from a lengthy sitdown. Part of the Heat's success is their ability to channel dislike into an us-against-the-world mentality. This dynamic gets muted in a shortened season.
Magic could lose Howard
A prolonged lockout could deliver a one-two punch to the Magic and the city of Orlando beyond the labor dispute's universal cost: depriving game-night workers and local businesses of badly needed income.
Superstar center Dwight Howard will be eligible to opt out of his contract during the summer of 2012. So if the entire 2011-12 season is canceled, it's possible that he already has played his last game for the Magic.
Central Florida residents also worry that the 2012 All-Star Game, scheduled for Amway Center on Feb. 26, will be canceled.
The only teams that would benefit from a prolonged lockout are those that stood to lose the most money by playing games in 2011-12 under the old CBA.
Depends on the length
Los Angeles Times
If the games start by December, the schedule will resemble the pace of a normal campaign. So, advantage to older blue-chip teams: the Mavericks, Lakers and maybe the Celtics. Their aging rosters get extra time off before the season, yet their rotation players already know how to play with each other.
If the regular season doesn't start till February, that means playing about 50 games in 90 days, including back-to-back-to-backs. So all the elders on the teams listed above won't have enough Advil to endure that sprint and have enough left to crank it up for the playoffs. In this scenario the advantage swings to the younger Bulls, Thunder and Heat, whose 20-something stars should have enough stamina to face the playoff grind.