Masai Ujiri has had a gritty summer ahead of the 2018-19 season.
the Toronto RaptorsThe GM relieved Head Coach of the Year Duane Casey of his duties and replaced him with Nick Nurse, the head coach of the team’s G League affiliate. It was an out-of-the-box move for a team that had plenty of success in the regular season but couldn’t get over the hump.
But more importantly, Ujiri traded franchise icon DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs for enigmatic superstar Kawhi Leonard. Leonard had an unofficial end to his stellar run with San Antonio. He was at odds with the organization when it came to his quadriceps tendinopathy injury. The disease cost the 2014 Finals MVP all but nine games that season.
In favor of the Raptors, they took a different approach with a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Leonard played in 60 games that season and did not play back-to-back. The rest seemed to pay off as Leonard had a monster postseason and led Toronto to its first NBA title, earning its second Finals MVP award.
It’s safe to say that the Larry O’Brien Cup doesn’t make its way to the Great White North without managing the load.
“It’s hard to know what other teams are doing in terms of managing loads,” Nurse said before the game Monday. “It’s kind of hard to keep up with who is doing what or who needs to be doing what.
“I’m just saying this… You used to be able to get eight or nine guys and progress through a season. You need 13 or 14 to play seasons now. Whatever the myriad reasons we’ve explored seem like [players are] We miss a lot of games than we did 10 or eight years ago.”
If you are reading this article, you are probably a huge fan of the NBA. So, you’ve likely already heard about Mavericks star Luka Doncic who rested last week and the boy who traveled “5,958 miles just to see Luka” in Cleveland. What makes it unfortunate is that Doncic didn’t make the trip.
In the end, the MVP candidate and the Mavericks organization Do the right young manBut the discourse has already begun.
On the other hand, an 82-game schedule can be stressful. In Leonard’s case – and that of many players who undergo load management – he has been suffering from a long-term injury that must be dealt with carefully to avoid a prolonged absence. In the case of Doncic and the Mavs, it was Dallas’ third set of back-to-back runs in two weeks and Luca was nursing a nagging right groin strain.
The Raptors’ transaction of Leonard paid the biggest dividend. The Mavericks hope Doncic can take advantage of a random December game in Cleveland in May and June.
On the other hand, there is fair Doesn’t someone, please, think about children ?! argument to be made. NBA tickets aren’t cheap, and seeing your favorite athlete as a kid is priceless. Would I be writing this column if I couldn’t see young Allen Iverson crossing people in nosebleeds? Maybe not.
A similar situation occurred in Philadelphia last week. Steve Curry missed his annual visit to the Wells Fargo Center due to a shoulder injury that will sideline him for a few weeks. While there is a distinct difference between an injury that will take weeks to heal and managing a pregnancy, there are still plenty of people in blue and yellow No. 30 jerseys who go home disappointed.
The Warriors were also without Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. The game got a lot more competitive than you’d expect with Golden State losing 3/5 of their starting lineup, but it definitely took up a bit of the game.
Two nights earlier, the Brooklyn Nets were fined for breaking half of their roster in the second half of a back-to-back game in Indiana.
It leaves the coaches in a bind. The most important task for Nets coach Jack Vaughn is to get Kevin Durant, tied for fifth in the league in minutes per game at the age of 34, to the postseason healthy.
Otherwise, Brooklyn has little chance of competing for anything.
“I would like to tell this fan that I look forward to Kevin Durant’s future,” he said. Vaughn said, per ESPN. “I am looking forward to the future of the organisation. And I truly apologize if that is the game I have chosen. But he has given his all in every game since the start of this season.”
For the Sixers, they have Joel Embiid, who has dealt with a string of injuries and (much to his chagrin) has been under careful load management his entire career. They also have 33-year-old James Harden, who suffered a severe hamstring injury, and leads the NBA in minutes per game.
The balance is difficult.
“I’ve been through this with teams where we didn’t have players who never played, who never trained,” SixExpress said head coach Doc Rivers last week. “It’s hard to get any rhythm with your basketball team, and then it’s also hard for the fans who are paying for it. So, I don’t know what the solution is.
“I know I have to be the sponsor for my team and I have to do what’s right for the Philadelphia 76ers. And if that means a player has to sit out one game, or here and there until we get to our goals, then I have to do that. But the other part of that is The stars not playing in the games. It’s a problem – and I don’t know the answer.”
But in fact there is a solution.
NBA owners and people who would lose a lot of money don’t want to hear that, but playing fewer games and eliminating back-to-back appearances is the only way.
However, that will not happen. The NFL, a sport that can cause brain damage (don’t shame anyone, I still watch football), recently expanded its season from 16 to 17 games. MLB has expanded its field into the playoffs, adding to its regular 162-game season. Even the NHL thinks so Expansion of the regular season from 82 to 84 games.
Players earn a lot of money. It’s part of the party. I get it. But they are the product. She’s the reason people spend their hard-earned money on tickets, dealing with crowded parking lots, and buying $15 beer. They deserve to make their health a top priority.
“I think it’s important to play for the fans, right?” said nurse. “There are a lot of people who want to see players play. Sometimes they come once a year to your city and that’s a big deal for people. But I think, in general, health and safety should always remain high on the list of priorities.”
If I was a Mavericks fan, would I care that Luca missed the regular season game in Cleveland if he got a big fat ring the next Opening Night?
Ask a Raptors fan.