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  • 14 Mar
    导出博客文章LEBRON JAMES WAS being publicly shamed.It was the night of Dec. 5, 2015, and the
    Cavs trailed by 20 points in the fourth quarter of the most highly anticipated
    matchup of the season: James against his former team, the Miami Heat. The Golden
    State Warriors had opened the season with the greatest start in NBA history at
    20-0. The Cavs had stumbled into Miami with two consecutive losses to drop their
    record to 13-6. Still, James sat quietly on the Cavs bench in a striped tee and
    navy blazer as giggly Heat fans in AmericanAirlines Arena chanted, Le-BRON is
    TI-red! like bullies at a schoolyard.The backdrop was even bleaker for
    James.James was clad in street clothes, not because he was injured. He had been
    deemed healthy by the training staff. But then-head coach David Blatt had other
    plans: Thanks to the grueling NBA schedule, James would not play.It wasnt just
    that this was the dreaded second game of a back-to-back. The NBAs
    schedule-makers had called for the Cavs to play less than 24 hours before in New
    Orleans for a 9:30 p.m Eastern tip-off, then fly eastward for two hours across a
    time zone to land in South Florida. After the Cavs had forced overtime against
    the Pelicans, the Cavs had sauntered off their team plane and into their Miami
    hotel rooms just before 5 a.m., the day of the Heat game.With sleep on short
    supply, Blatt had made the call for James to sit, marking the first time in
    James career that he missed a game because of rest before Christmas.Very short
    turnaround, Blatt explained before the game. Just thinking long term here.So
    despite being the hottest ticket on the Heats slate entering the season
    according to TipIQ.com, with the average price climbing to $330, nearly $100
    more expensive than the game against Steph Curry and the then-champion Warriors,
    James sat.He did so again on Feb. 28 against Washington -- and another four
    times heading into the playoff stretch. James wasnt the only star with multiple
    healthy scratches last season. He joined Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo
    Anthony, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, Russell Westbrook and others who
    registered at least two healthy scratches last season alone.To some, this
    represents a growing epidemic: the scourge of the DNP-Rest. However, new science
    suggests that, for the coaches who employ it, it might be the most effective
    play theyll call all year.GONE ARE THE days where fans could simply rely on
    injury reports to see whether their favorite player would suit up in that nights
    game.Healthy scratches are on the rise. According to ProSportsTransactions
    database, which tracks historical injuries and transactions, the first DNP
    listed with a rest label came in April 2006, for Suns PG Steve Nash and SG Raja
    Bell. In fact, from 2005-06 to 2010-11, there were 124 total such cases across
    six seasons, an average of 20 per season. But last season alone there were 146
    instances of a DNP-Rest, a 70 percent increase from 2014-15.DNP-Rest has been on
    a sudden rise in the past three seasons. The notable exception is the 2011-12
    season, when 71 instances of DNP-Rest were largely due to the lockout-shortened
    schedule that featured numerous back-to-back-to-backs.If DNP-Rest were a virus,
    Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would be patient zero. On Nov. 29, 2012,
    Popovich sent four of his best players -- Tim Duncan (then 36), Manu Ginobili
    (35), Tony Parker (30) and Danny Green (25) -- back home to San Antonio instead
    of to Miami for the Spurs fourth game in five nights and second game of a
    back-to-back set. Popovich called the strategic rest pretty logical, but
    then-NBA commissioner David Stern hit the Spurs with a $250,000 fine for sitting
    them during a nationally televised game. In a statement, Stern concluded that
    Popovichs decision ran contrary to the best interests of the NBA.Then an
    interesting thing happened: Coaches stopped explicitly resting players. Perhaps
    fearing league-office sanctions, the DNP-Rest practice plummeted to 19 in
    2012-13, dropping to a quarter of what it was in 2011-12, the lockout-shortened
    season that featured numerous back-to-back-to-backs.Ever since that 2012-13
    season, though, the practice of sitting healthy players has become commonplace,
    rising 668 percent over the next three seasons. The champion Cleveland Cavaliers
    were among six teams in the NBA whose healthy scratches rose into the double
    digits during the 2015-16 season. In 2014-15, there had been only two such
    teams: the Spurs and the Hawks, led by Pop disciple Mike Budenholzer.As the
    practice has taken hold across the league, commissioner Adam Silver has deviated
    from Sterns policy. Before last season, Silver held a news conference in which
    he said the league has taken a new approach when it came to handling
    schedule-related matters. And while Stern called the Spurs tactics unacceptable
    back in 2012, Silver in October deemed it the sophistication of minutes
    management.League sources say NBA players had occasionally taken games off
    before 2005-06, with teams typically covering it up with bogus injury labels
    such as hamstring soreness or a back strain. This season, with a record 46
    players competing in the Summer Olympics in Rio, many around the league expect
    the number of healthy scratches to climb as teams manage the schedule.Says one
    long-time NBA exec: We have to strategically choose a few lambs to slaughter.If
    history holds, that slaughter should begin in earnest -- as so many
    slaughterings have -- on the Ides of March. About 70 percent of the DNP-Rests
    occurred after March 15 last season, when many teams have either thrown in the
    towel or required some relief before the playoff grind. James, Anthony, Kawhi
    Leonard and Paul all missed multiple games in April to grab some R&R.
    According to research by ESPNs Kevin Pelton, every game in April came on average
    with at least one healthy player sitting out.While April might be the cruelest
    month, the most common thread of DNP-Rests is games with no days off. Last
    season, 78 percent of DNP-Rests before the middle of March came in a
    back-to-back set. Within that group of back-to-backs, 74 percent of DNP-Rests
    came in the second game, and most came on the road. All three of Durants
    DNP-Rests came on second days of road back-to-backs; Kobe Bryant rested the
    first two such games on the schedule of his farewell tour.February, which saw
    only 2 percent of games being affected by a DNP-Rest, is perhaps not
    coincidentally when the All-Star break falls. The lesson: When the NBA inserts
    rest into the schedule, the coaches arent forced to disappoint its fans.GROWING
    UP ON?Japans sporadic broadcasts of Julius Erving and Magic Johnson games in the
    80s, Masaru Teramoto fell in love with the game early. ?Some 30 years later,
    Teramoto is now an assistant professor at the University of Utah School of
    Medicine, where he gained notice with a 2015 study that detailed a link between
    concussions and the rise of the West Coast offense popularized by San Francisco
    49ers coach Bill Walsh. Teramoto found that the scheme lent itself to a higher
    rate of concussions because its faster-paced short passes left receivers more
    vulnerable to blindside hits.When Teramoto has focused on basketball, he has
    been struck by the sheer velocity of the modern NBA and the physical toll it
    takes on its stars bodies.I think NBA games have changed, Teramoto says. Its
    so?athletic now. Its just unbelievable.In a study provided to ESPN.com that will
    be published publicly in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport later this
    month, Teramoto researched three seasons of NBA injury data, from 2012-13
    through 2014-15, in an attempt to determine if certain aspects of the schedule
    -- in particular, back-to-backs and travel -- led to players getting injured in
    games.What Teramoto found surprised him: Back-to-backs alone are not associated
    with greater instances of in-game injury, but back-to-backs that are played on
    the road are significant predictors of in-game injury, generating 3.5 times the
    injury rate as those played at home.The problem? Two out of every three
    back-to-backs are on the road.Teramoto notes that the league has reduced overall
    back-to-backs to an all-time low, down to a total of 488 from 533 last season
    (or 16.3 per team from 17.8 per team). In addition, the percentage of road
    back-to-backs has slightly declined, from 69 percent to 67 percent this upcoming
    season.However, the NBA simply might have too many games in too short a span.As
    much as possible, we would recommend that the NBA consider avoiding the
    back-to-back games on the road, Teramoto said. If theres not much they can do
    with an 82-game schedule, it might be time to consider drastically changing the
    structure of the schedule and cut, say, five games from the season.Granted, road
    back-to-backs werent the only predictors of in-game injury that Teramoto and his
    team found. Generally, away games were also associated with an increased risk of
    in-game injury as well as those back-to-backs that are played with 3-4 games in
    the previous five days. In the latter case, players had 3.3 times the rate of
    suffering injuries in back-to-backs compared with those who had played just 1-2
    games in the same span.Put simply, game density can make a dangerous situation
    even worse.WHEN IT COMES to in-season rest, James is this generations Tim
    Duncan, who registered 37 DNP-Rests in the past decade before retiring this
    summer, far more than any other player.James has made it clear that playing in
    every game is no longer a priority. Two years ago, James disagreed with the NBA
    dabbling with the idea to shorten games from 48 to 44 minutes, and instead
    called for the NBA to cut games from the 82-game schedule.The minutes dont mean
    anything ... its just the games, James said then. We want to protect the prize,
    and the prize is the players.James words proved prescient. In that 2014-15
    season, he went on an impromptu two-week break in Miami in the middle of the
    season, missing eight straight games in which the Cavs won only once. This past
    season, he skipped six games to rest, the same number of games that the entire
    Golden State Warriors did for the entire season en route to a record-breaking 73
    wins.On Dec. 5, as he sat in silence, serenaded by the Le-BRON-is-TI-red chant,
    James, its worth noting, was not sitting still. Instead, he could be seen
    twirling his rings on his right hand -- diamond ones, mind you, not the
    championship rings he won with Miami.Yes, James was sitting out a back-to-back.
    Yes, the Cavs would lose the game by 15. Yes, seven months later, a healthy
    James would lead all Finals players in minutes.No ones shaming him now.
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    after shooting a 69. SYDNEY -- Australian Olympians Natalie Cook and Lachlan
    Milne will not be sanctioned for altering accreditations to allow fellow
    Australian athletes into the countrys mens basketball semifinal against Serbia
    at the Rio de Janeiro Games.Cook, a former beach volleyballer, and Milne, an
    ex-canoeist, were working with the Australian team as athlete services
    volunteers. They placed stickers on athletes credentials to allow them access to
    the game, an investigation commissioned by the Australian Olympic Committee
    found.In a statement Thursday, the AOC said Milne also gave nonscanned tickets
    to athletes outside the stadium to let them inside. Serbia won the mens
    semifinal 87-61.Nine athletes were held by police and later fined over the
    falsified documents after a plea bargain agreement was reached with a Brazilian
    court. The AOC paid the fines.Both Cook andd Milne were sent home before the
    closing ceremony, as were Australian director of athletes services James Edwards
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