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Sports Medicine Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons and David Herrera

NBA: Rest Days Do Not Impact Players’ Performance

Tracey Romero • Tue, October 31st, 2017

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In a recent study, “The Effect of Regular-Season Rest on Playoff Performance Among Players in the National Basketball Association,” published in the October, 2017 issue of Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that rest during the regular season does not improve performance in the postseason for National Basketball Association (NBA) players.

In a cohort study, researchers collected data from the Basketball Reference and Pro Sports Transactions archive from the 2005 to 2015 seasons and formed two groups of players. Group A was players who missed fewer than five regular-season games because of rest, while Group B was players who missed five to nine regular-season games because of rest.

Then the researchers matched players together from each group based on position, mean age at the start of the season within two years, regular-season minutes per game within five minutes, same playoff seeding, and player efficiency rating (PER) within two points. The next step was to collect playoff data on these players as well, including points per game, assists per game, PER, true shooting percentage, blocks, steals and number of playoff games missed because of injury.

Overall, 811 players were included in the study and 27 matched pairs were formed. According to the data, time away from the game during the regular season did not impact players’ performance or injury risk in playoffs.

The researchers wrote, “While player performance is improved immediately after resting, rest has not been shown to affect performance later in the regular season or in the playoffs.”

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