Friday, January 28, 2005

Day to Day? Not So Much

When you are trying to decide whether or not to pick up a player, one of the main factors is how long will he be productive. I talk about playing the rotating point guard game a lot, but if you play in a league with a small bench, it’s perfectly understandable that you wouldn’t want to cut bait on a player you think could be a regular down the road for just a one-game pick up. But here’s the thing with most injuries – they don’t last one game. We hear so much about players being day-to-day, but this usually isn’t the case; it’s more like week-to-week. Let’s check a couple of current examples, using Rotoworld’s player updates. (And this is by no means a slam on Rotoworld, as they’re just taking their info from local papers.)

Jan. 19: Brevin Knight missed most of tonight's game after spraining his ankle in the first quarter.
He is day-to-day, but more information about the injury will be available tomorrow, so check back then.

Well, today is Jan. 28 and Knight still isn’t back. He’s missed four games and is doubtful for a fifth tonight. In his absence Jason Hart has gone for: 12.3/6.3/10.3 with .8 steals and 3s. While some owners may have been wary of dropping someone for a game or two of Hart, if you knew that day-to-day was a lie, you’ve had a great week of games from Hart, with a ton of assists.

Jan. 22: Speedy Claxton is sitting out tonight's game with a thigh injury.
He's day-to-day and Derek Fisher started in his place.

Day-to-day, eh? Claxton has missed three games so far, and even though it seems like he’s due back each game, don’t believe it until you see it. Even with a total clunker of a performance on Wednesday, Derek Fisher has been good for 15.3/3.3/6 with 1 steal and a huge 2.3 3s in his absence.

Here’s a quote from Sam Cassell after the Jan. 7 game against Philadelphia: Asked about his ability to play Saturday, Cassell said, “If I'm in D.C., I'm going (to play).”

Ten games and almost three weeks later, Cassell was finally back on the court, after being day-to-day for seemingly an eternity. No one really stepped up in his absence, but it’s another fine example of day-to-day being anything but.

How about Zach Randolph?

Jan. 13: Zach Randolph has a mild right knee strain. He'll have the injury reevaluated on Thursday.
Randolph is day-to-day with the knee problem that's been bothering him for weeks.

A few days later it was revealed he would miss two to five games. Guess which one it was closer to? He ended up missing six games, where Damon Stoudamire and Nick Van Exel went insane (in a good way) in his absence.

There’s nothing too revelatory about any of this, but it’s something to keep in mind when dealing with these guys who are banged up. As a general rule, ankle and groin injuries usually seem to be the most frustrating.


Blogger Biggs said...

That's the worse thing about the NBA today - these huge gauranteed contacts. No one has anything to play for. An Eric Dampier or Mark Blount can go out and play hard for six months and hit the jackpot for the next 4-5 years. Then they sit back and enjoy their riches. Of course there are execptions to the rule, and this is probably not a good example for someone like Kobe (who has other problems), but if I'm someone like Baron Davis, why should I go out of my way to play and risk getting myself hurt even worse?

9:41 PM  

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