The NBA has at least one coach in favor of the new load management rule, which is now tying individual postseason awards to the number of games played.
This is to curtail the idea of resting players who are actually healthy enough to play.
“I love it,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said, via Joe Vardon and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “I think it’s great for the league.”
Unseld was among the multiple coaches who responded to comments made by executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who said in a call with reporters that more rest doesn’t necessarily equate to less injury.
Basically, the NBA wants its players to attempt to play all 82 games.
“I think it was a given conclusion that the data showed that you had to rest players a certain amount and that justified guys sitting out,” Dumars said. “We’ve gotten more data, and it just doesn’t show that resting, sitting guys out, correlates with lack of injuries or fatigue or anything like that.
“What it does show is guys may be not as efficient on the second night of a back-to-back. But in terms of injury and things like that, that we thought that it did prior, as we got more data, we realized that’s not really holding up.”
Not all coaches interviewed by The Athletic totally agreed, however.
“I think it’s a matter of how it’s being framed,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via Vardon. “I’m not trying to, you know, get in a back and forth with the NBA, but it also is fact that fatigue can lead to injury. So I think that’s where it’s on us to figure out like, you know, how do we protect our guys? But also it is our responsibility to put our best foot forward for this league.”
You can check out the full piece at The Athletic here.