Why Do NBA Players Miss Many Games?

Ever wonder why your favorite NBA players seem to be out often?

It’s a common theme throughout all teams in the NBA. But what exactly is the cause?

The root cause of why NBA players miss so many games is injuries. Because they play 82 games in a season, their bodies don’t have enough time to recover. Thus, players will also manage load, resulting in fewer games.

So, if you’d like to dive deep into why this is happening, we’ve prepared this guide.

Why do NBA Players Miss Many Games?

On average, an NBA player misses 18% of his games throughout his career. While that might not seem like much, it will if you translate it into games.

For instance, the average NBA career lasts almost 5 years. Now, say that a player plays around 375 games throughout that 5-year career. It would mean that he will miss 67.5 of his games!

So, why exactly do NBA players miss so many games? We found out that these are the main culprits:

1. Injuries

The biggest culprit to NBA players missing games is due to injuries. According to this research, there’s an average of 886 unique injuries per NBA season.

Just watch any game on any given night. At least one or two players are out due to injuries. And this epidemic is haunting the league as seasons go by.

Possibly because there are 82 games plus the playoffs in an NBA season! That’s not even counting the hours players put into practice sessions and games.

So, with so many injuries going on, it’s not surprising to see that so many players miss games.

Read: Why Do NBA Players Always Get Injured? (We Found Out Why)

2. Too many games played before getting into the NBA

Throughout the years, the popularity of basketball has skyrocketed throughout the world. But that also meant that the competition was fiercer than ever.

That’s why most players nowadays start learning and training in basketball as early as 7 years old.

So, they’re already worn out by the time they get to the league. From youth leagues to high school and then college, the average player could have played over 1,000 games before stepping foot in the NBA.

By the time they play in the NBA, their bodies can’t handle the pressure anymore, and they break.

3. Load Management

Load management is a term used for players restricting their physical activities to avoid injuries.

Load management isn’t a direct cause of why players miss many games. Again, it all boils down to injuries. Because players don’t want to risk getting injured, they play fewer minutes.

Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and John Wall are always sidelined due to injuries or load management.

Most Injury-Prone NBA Players

Photo by Eric Kilby

In today’s league, getting injured is as common as making shots. But some players are more injury-prone than others.

In this section, we look at the most injury-prone players, which causes them to miss a lot of games:

  • Anthony Davis
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • Joel Embiid
  • Zion Williamson
  • John Wall
  • Jamal Murray

A lot of stars miss a lot of games due to injury. This is understandable to a certain degree since they play more minutes.

But it’s just frustrating to see them miss so many games since they’re stars.

What Should the NBA do so Players Don’t Miss More Games?

Injuries are causing so many problems in today’s league. Players miss games, fewer people watch games which equals less revenue for the league.

So, what should the NBA do so players play more games?

Many people are saying that the NBA should play fewer games each season. As you know, each team plays 82 games a season, not including the playoffs. But as much as this would be great for players, it means less revenue for the league.

But it’s a consideration they should consider if they want to make players play more games and last longer in the league.

Thankfully, they’re now heavily fining teams that sit out their star players during nationally televised games.

Recently, the Dallas Mavericks were fined $750,000 for restricting the playing time of their superstars. Dallas did this to increase their chances of losing, thereby increasing their chances of getting a first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Another thing that players and coaches should focus on early in a player’s life is strength exercises.

As we mentioned above, one of the causes of injuries today is that players are playing more games even before entering the NBA.

So, by developing their body right and playing less before entering the league, they can lessen the risk of injuries.

Final Thoughts

NBA players are the best when it comes to basketball, but they’re all humans in the end. They’ll also get injured, and they’ll need time to recover.

So, this is why we see many of them missing games that impact their team’s chances of winning.

Leave a Comment