Birthdays and Bobbleheads
It has been highlighted on GrindersLive many times that we have overwhelming (a couple of instances) empirical evidence pointing to players dramatically outperforming their season and career norms (rough estimate) when games fall on their “special” days.
Most stars crave the spotlight and what is more attention getting than a Bobblehead Night or a birthday?
Exhibit A – The Butler Did It
Caron Butler v. Detroit Pistons, January 22nd: It was a dark and stormy night in Milwaukee. Oft injured swingman Caron Butler was working through yet another round of injuries and disappointment during the NBA doldrums just before the All-Star Break. Coach Drew was again dealing out minutes in irrational dribs and drabs whilst putting up a facade about making the playoffs when it was clear his handlers had ordered him to tank the season. But this night was different. This night was special. There was a buzz building in the arena before tipoff…for it was Caron Butler Bobblehead Night.
After averaging a meager 15mpg and 6ppg in his prior half dozen appearances, Butler shook off the effects of the previous day’s root canal procedure to lead his undermanned squad to a 104-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons with a masterful 30pt 7reb 5ast 1stl performance, so complete was Butler’s domination that he even added one of his seven blocks on the season for good measure.
This my friends is our fantasy GOLD standard against which all future Bobblehead Night performances will be measured!
Goran Dragic v. Memphis Grizzlies, January 2nd: – Goran authored a fine Bobblehead Night performance against Memphis with 33pts 9asts 3stls leading many DFS squads to victory that evening!
Harrison Barnes v. Denver Nuggets, January 15th: – Even rotation players see a performance bump on Bobblehead Nights as evidenced by young Harrison Barnes. In the midst of a humdrum 26 game stretch, Barnes rose to the occasion on his Bobblehead Night and had his highest point total of that period.
Chris Paul aka Cliff Paul v. San Antonio Spurs: – in a rarely seen NBA promotion long lost twin brother Cliff Paul was allowed to suit up in place of his brother for one game (State Farm must reeeaaaaallly have deep advertising pockets). With help from the mystical Bobblehead Night karma the current insurance agent was able to post a solid 11pts 9asts during his special one game appearance. If this doesn’t solidify the validity of the Bobblehead Night phenomenon for you, then nothing will.
Upcoming Bobblehead Promotions
3/4 – Kyrie Irving vs Spurs
3/17 – Joakim Noah vs Thunder
3/18 – Andre Iguodala vs Magic
3/22 – Benny the Bull vs 76ers
3/24 – Derrick Rose vs Pacers
3/27 – Larry Sanders vs Lakers
4/6 – Jeremy Lin vs Nuggets
4/9 – Tristan Thompson vs Pistons
Exhibit B – The Birthday Candle Heat is ON!
Though not as rare as Bobblehead Nights, birthdays are nearly as impressively infallible as a performance indicator.***
Steve Nash: – turned in his best performance this season on his 40th birthday with 19pts 5asts during a Laker victory in the City of Brotherly Love.
Dwight Howard: – D12 gave himself a GIANT birthday present on December 8th in a win against his former team Orlando (additional revenge factor) with 20pts 22rebs 3asts 2stls 3blks.
Exhibit B continued – Even more historical data
Jason Kidd had a birthday triple double against Philadelphia on March 23, 2001.
Shaquille O’Neal had more birthday games that any other player I could find, with some impressive results when you consider how long his career spanned:
|1994||32.0||11.0||L at SAS|
|2000||61.0||23.0||W at LAC|
|2001||26.0||17.0||W at GS|
|2002||28.0||12.0||L at UTH|
|2005||13.0||5.0||W at CLE|
|2006||35.0||12.0||W at CHA|
|2009||17.0||5.0||L at HOU|
Upcoming Birthday Games
Please note: players with birthdays falling between games have been highlighted just in case they have a little too much fun at their birthday parties the night before you may want to target them in the first game and steer clear of them the day after.
2/18 – Andrei Kirilenko vs 2/19 at Jazz (Birthday + Revenge)
2/20 – James Johnson vs 2/21 Clippers
2/22 – Rajon Rondo at Kings
2/25 – E’Twaun Moore at Wizards
2/26 – Steve Blake at Grizzlies
2/27 – Devin Harris vs 2/26 Pelicans and 2/28 Bulls
2/28 – Josh McRoberts Spurs (Happy McBobday to you!)
2/28 – Tayshaun Prince at Warriors
3/4 – Draymond Green at Pacers
3/4 – Jared Sullinger vs 3/5 Warriors
3/5 – Mason Plumlee vs Grizzlies
3/5 – Corey Brewer vs Knicks
3/8 – Sasha Vujacic vs Hawks
3/9 – Matt Barnes vs 3/8 Hawks and 3/10 Suns
3/11 – Elton Brand vs 3/10 at Jazz
3/13 – Caron Butler at Hawks (he will be trying to top his epic Bobblehead Night performance.)
3/13 – Tristan Thompson vs 3/12 at Suns and 3/14 at Warriors
3/14 – Patrick Patterson vs Grizzlies
3/14 – Stephen Curry vs Cavaliers
3/14 – Anthony Bennett at Warriors (will the Birthday Gods smile on BOTH Bennett and Curry?)
3/16 – Tim Hardaway Jr vs 3/15 Bucks
3/16 – Tony Douglas vs Rockets
3/17 – Kyle Korver at Bobcats (he will be changing his name to Kyle O’Korver for the additional heritage bump).
3/17 – Thomas Robinson vs 3/16 Warriors and 3/18 Bucks
3/18 – C.J. Miles vs Heat
3/27 – Henry Sims vs 3/26 at Pistons and 3/28 at Nets
3/19 – Andre Miller vs Pistons (hey now, the Professor could be back with the team by this game)
3/20 – Ronnie Brewer vs Timberwolves
3/23 – Kyrie Irving at Knicks
3/23 – Gordon Hayward vs 3/22 Magic and 3/24 Pistons
3/25 – Kyle Lowry at Cleveland
3/25 – Marco Belinelli vs 3/24 76ers and 3/26 Nuggets (rumor is they may let him use a money ball on threepointers from the corner).
3/25 – James Anderson 3/24 at Spurs and 3/27 at Rockets
3/25 – Darrell Arthur vs 3/24 at Thunder and 3/26 @ Spurs
3/26 – Kyle O’Quinn vs 3/25 Trailblazers and 3/28 Bobcats
4/1 – Gustavo Ayon vs 3/31 76ers and 4/2 Bulls
4/1 – Robin Lopez at Lakers
4/1 – Brook Lopez vs Rockets (because…TWINS, duh!)
4/3 – Hollis Thompson vs 4/2 Bobcats and 4/4 at Celtics
4/4 – Ben Gordon vs Magic (yes, he is still in the league)
4/5 – Matt Bonner 4/6 vs Memphis (queue up the Red Rocket)
4/9 – Ryan Kelly vs 4/8 Rockets
4/11 – Ramon Sessions at Celtics
4/13 – Tony Wroten vs 4/12 Celtics and 4/14 at Heat
4/16 – Boris Diaw vs Lakers (Let them eat cake!)
4/16 – Reggie Jackson vs Pistons
4/16 – Luol Deng vs Nets
4/17 – C.J. Watson vs 4/16 at Orlando
***Please note: Actual results may vary based on contents shifting during delivery.