20 Second Timeout is the place to find the best analysis and commentary about the NBA.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Resting" Healthy Players is not a Good Trend

The San Antonio Spurs faced the Miami Heat on Thursday night in a possible NBA Finals preview but fans who purchased tickets for this eagerly anticipated matchup did not get to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili play against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; Spurs' Coach Gregg Popovich elected to send his three stars (plus Danny Green, who started in each of the first 16 games of the season) home even though they are all healthy. The undermanned Spurs fiercely battled the Heat before falling 105-100 but that is not the point; Hall of Fame NFL Coach John Madden put it best after the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin declined to rest his players in a so-called "meaningless" game: "I think it is one of the best things that has happened to the NFL in the last 10 years and I don't know if they all know it but they should be very grateful to you and your team. We were getting too much of that 'Well, they're going to rest their players because they don't need it.' That's not sports and that's not competition. Anyway, I'm a little emotional about it but I was so damn proud of what you guys did. It is something that we all ought to thank you for because, believe me, the NFL needed that. Congratulations."

Jeff Van Gundy, an ESPN commentator and former NBA head coach, noted that it is only within the past 10 years or so that NBA teams have become so focused on resting healthy players and limiting their minutes. Players used to take pride in playing every game and only sitting out if it is absolutely necessary; Michael Jordan played all 82 games in each season of the Chicago Bulls' second three-peat even though many of those games were "meaningless." That mentality is largely extinct now with the exception of a few old school players--most notably Kobe Bryant.

NBA Commissioner David Stern apologized to all NBA fans for the Spurs' actions and declared that "substantial sanctions will be forthcoming." It is not clear exactly what Commissioner Stern can do, though, because there is not a formal rule pertaining to resting players and because several teams (including the Spurs) have rested players late in the regular season without being punished. The difference this time is that the Spurs blatantly tanked a game--regardless of the close final score, the reality is that the Spurs had little chance to beat the Heat in Miami without Duncan, Parker and Ginobili--while depriving Miami fans of their only opportunity to watch the Spurs' Big Three in person this season. Perhaps the Heat should be required to issue refunds to all of Thursday's ticket buyers and then the Spurs should be required to fully reimburse the Heat in addition to paying a fine to the league for violating the spirit of the game.

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posted by David Friedman @ 2:35 PM

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Win a Free Thunderstruck Combo Pack

Warner Brothers is releasing "Thunderstruck"--a movie starring Kevin Durant--on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 4, 2012. You can view the trailer, play an interactive free throw shooting video game to unlock more trailer footage and read seven shooting tips by checking out the Thunderstruck App:



One 20 Second Timeout reader can receive a free "Thunderstruck" Combo Pack (Blu-Ray plus DVD plus Digital Download) from Warner Brothers. Simply be the first person to correctly answer each of the following Kevin Durant trivia questions (answers must be posted in the comments section of this post):

1) Kevin Durant scored 42 points in a game as a 19 year old rookie. Who is the only 19 year old to score more points in an NBA game since the 1985-86 season and how many points did that player score?

2) Kevin Durant averaged 25.8 ppg and 11.1 rpg in his only collegiate season. What was his single-game rebounding high?

3) Kevin Durant led Team USA to the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship while averaging 22.8 ppg, setting a Team USA record for FIBA World Championship play. Whose record did Durant break? Who ranks third on the all-time Team USA FIBA World Championship scoring list for one event?

The 20 Second Timeout "Thunderstruck" Contest will end no later than December 4, 2012. The winner must supply his/her name and street address (i.e., no post office boxes), which will be forwarded to Warner Brothers; Warner Brothers will ship the Combo Pack directly to the winner via Fed Ex or UPS two to four weeks after December 17. If no one answers all of the questions correctly then the person who answers the most questions correctly will win. In the event of a tie, one tiebreaker question will be posted and the first co-winner who answers it correctly will win the Combo Pack.

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:03 PM

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