The NBA All-Star break is upon us. A weekend filled with a bunch of events and some basketball games where no defense is played at all. This is the best All-Star setup in sports. However it is not really a break for the players involved.
Yea they don’t have to play in any games but they do have a lot of commitments during the weekend. There are a bunch of events that the players must attend. Not to mention the partying that comes along with every All-Star weekend.
The last game is played on Thursday night and most players arrive on Friday to the All-Star destination. From there they sign autographs, do interviews and a bunch of other things. Friday night some show appreciation for the Rising Star Challenge and we all know about Saturday night.
The game is played on Sunday and then they go back to their teams and most of them play again on Tuesday. Just think about last year; Damian Lillard participated in every event. He was in the skills challenge, rising star challenge, dunk contest, three point shootout and All-Star game. He probably had other events to attend over the course of the weekend so it was no real break for him.
This season is different. The players actually get a real break after the weekend is over. Last year LeBron James suggested an extended All-Star break to then new Commissioner Adam Silver. The weekend was daunting for many players and they really didn’t get a break. So now this season instead of games resuming on Tuesday, games won’t be played until Thursday February 19th.
It is not a lot of time off for the All-Stars but every day off will help going forward. Teams are banged up at this time of year. Look at this past week, Blake Griffin had surgery and Anthony Davis got hurt and will miss the All-Star game.
A few extra days of rest or conditioning will be great for a guy like Kevin Durant. He’s been banged up all season playing in only 26 games. This is a guy who started 81 regular season games the past two seasons. In February he is averaging 30 ppg on 54% shooting. The Thunder have won three in a row but more rest for Durant couldn’t hurt.
In the game against the Grizzlies Durant was limping a little bit. His teammate Reggie Jackson said after the game, “Wish he could get a little more rest.” Durant needs this break even though it is not a lot. He will play hard in the All-Star game but that’s just his competitive nature. A few days off and some treatment will be great for the Thunder going forward.
This might be a great break for a team like the Atlanta Hawks. Don’t get me wrong they are great but after their big winning streak they are only 3-3. A streak like that can take a lot out of a team and now they get a few days off to regroup.
The time off is great for both the players and coaches. Teams needed an extended break. The good teams and players will take advantage of it and come back better. Teams that are struggling get a chance to figure out what is going wrong.
There have been so many injuries this season. Here’s to a healthy second half for all teams.