FanPost

Was Fatigue a Factor in IND@SAS Game?

Having watched IND@SAS, I had the following question. How much did playing a double-overtime game two days earlier affect SAS performance in game against IND, and secondarily how might this compare to the effect from IND playing the day before? A quick scan of the secondary literature and memories of examples led to the following results.

The total amount of exercise in a week is more important than how it was distributed (within reason). Intense muscle use causes more muscle damage than more moderate, lengthener use. Limited exercise is requited to result in some muscle damage.

A potentially relevant study appeared in the October 2016 issue of the Journal of Physical Therapy Science where researchers had soccer players run sprints to damage their muscles and then followed their recovery. The scientists monitored their muscle strength and balance for one, two and three days after the workout. It took on average three days to fully recover to maximum strength [note that balance on one foot was also a good measure of recovery]. (Source: How Long Does it Take for Muscles to Recover After Workout? (livestrong.com))

Excessive overexertion can take a long time to recover from. Several years ago, LeBron James scored 60+ points in a game and his performances were affected for almost two weeks. World-class marathon runners may require a month or more to fully recover although this is not the result of excessive muscle damage.

In hockey, a belief exists that short intervals on the ice can result in less negative effect and better performance.

Stress can compound the negative effects of exercise. (Source: Recovery from Exercise – What’s Stress Got To Do With It? | Polar Blog)

So, what should one conclude from this? Playing hard with frequent intense muscle events can lead to more muscle damage. Jumping and hard sprints and turns are examples of this in basketball. Athletic muscle damage requires three days to recover from. Both teams had not fully recovered. The total amount of (intense) exercise in a week may be another relevant factor.

If one includes the day of the game the total minutes played by each team for the week are almost the same. A 5% difference existed entering overtime – see first Table. I included T.J. McConnell in table as possibly the key player in IND win who, as a reserve, might have been more rested. However, he played 32 minutes the night before in his 44th game of the season. In 45 games, he has averaged 25.5 minutes scoring 7.7 points. This season, he has now played in 9 games that were the second of a back-to-back averaging 30.2 minutes and 9.2 points. (In other games, he has averaged in the 22-24-minute range. The SAS player that guarded him the most was Patty Mills, so I included him in the tables. Mills defended McConnell only 27.6% of McConnell’s offensive time. (See Annex for all defense matchups with McConnell)

Week Totals Minutes including IND@SAS Gameday

7 Days

SAS Team

IND team

Patty Mills

T.J. McConnel

Total

207

197

118

113

Source: NBA.com

Looking back here are the details for eight days including IND@SAS gameday. A larger differences exist, but they are based on an event a week before the game.

Eight Day Totals with Game and Prior Week’s Plus Details

Day

SAS Team

IND team

Patty Mills

T.J. McConnel

Saturday Apr 3

53

53

34

34

Friday Apr 2

0

48

0

32

Thursday Apr 1

58

0

32

0

Wednesday Mar 31

48

48

26

25

Tuesday Mar 30

0

0

0

0

Monday Mar 29

48

48

26

22

Sunday Mar 28

0

0

0

0

Saturday Mar 27

48

0

29

0

Total

255

197

147

113

Source: NBA.com

IND’s last game prior to these days was March 26 winning against Dallas with McConnel playing 24 minutes followed by two days’ rest.

Sleep is an important issue in recovery. If anything, this factor should have favored SAS as it was at home while IND was on the road travelling between two away cities – although they only travelled from Dallas.

Offsetting any possible SAS high fatigue effect on score, should have been the absence of several frontline IND players. This makes IND performance above what would have been expected and/or the SAS performance below expected.

CONCLUSION

If SAS had a higher fatigue level than IND, muscle recovery was probably not the main issue. Rather general or cardo-pulmonary factors would have dominated. These might have been created by near exhaustion. Nevertheless, looking at the numbers for performance after one-or-zero-days rest in the NBA, justification would exist for IND to have been negatively affected more than SAS.

Possibly, the back-to-back with overtime created a condition close enough to exhaustion that it was more than could be adequately dealt with a day’s rest. Alternately, possibly IND simply played harder, and the result of this was seen in the game, particularly against the reserves.

ANNEX

Defenders of T. J. McConnell

PLAYER

TEAM

MIN

PARTIAL
POSS

%DEF
TIME

%OFF
TIME

PLAYER
PTS

TEAM
PTS

AST

FGM

FGA

FG%

%TIME
BOTH ON

DeMar DeRozan

SAS

1:28

6.18

11.8

13.4

0

10

1

0

0

0.0

19.8

Rudy Gay

SAS

0:43

3.47

9.7

6.6

2

4

1

1

1

100

10.9

Keldon Johnson

SAS

0:41

2.62

6.8

6.3

2

11

1

1

1

100

17.5

Patty Mills

SAS

3:01

13.17

28.8

27.6

6

21

1

3

4

75.0

32.8

Dejounte Murray

SAS

1:46

6.35

15.3

16.2

2

5

0

1

2

50.0

27.5

Jakob Poeltl

SAS

0:34

2.22

4.4

5.2

2

5

2

1

2

50.0

8.2

Luka Samanic

SAS

0:20

1.57

14.3

3.1

0

2

0

0

1

0.0

14.3

Devin Vassell

SAS

0:40

3.30

11.6

6.2

0

12

1

0

1

0.0

15.9

Derrick White

SAS

1:40

6.28

13.8

15.4

4

14

0

2

2

100

21.9

Source: NBA.com

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