How Much Does B2B and Rest Truly Matter in NBA?

This isn’t a real blog. This is just random thoughts by a crazy old guy who likes to delve into numbers on his spreadsheets.

One of the things I was interested in was how much of an effect B2Bs and 1 day rest, 2 days rest, and 3+ days rest have on a player.

This is not a scientific paper.
This has not been peer reviewed.
You are just going to have to take my word for what I am about to say and take it with a grain of salt.

I didn’t go farther back than last year and if you are looking for the effect of rest over a long period of time (2 or more years), this ain’t it.
If you are looking for a guideline for what sort of effect B2B, 1 day, 2 day, and 3+ days of rest have, then this is for you.

In the past year….

On B2Bs, players run 99.6% of their minutes and players make an average of 99.1% of their normal Field Goals per minute and attempt 99.2% of their normal field goals. So there is definitely an effect, but it is NOT a massive drop. A player who averages 30 minutes and 15 FGA will average 29.9 minutes and 15 FGA on a back to back. They will attempt 98.2% of their normal 3PA and make 98.9% (I found it interesting that their 3PFG% actually goes up.) Points wise, the biggest effect is at the line. They will shoot 94.12% of their free throws and make 94.6% of those they normally would. Rebounding drops to 97.32% and Assists drop to 98.96%. Steals drop to 97.73% and Blocks actually increase to 100.15%. Overall points drops an average of 1.7% to 98.33%.

So, what’s our takeaway? A scorer, especially one who is FT dependent (Ahem, Harden) will see a larger effect on a B2B than say a Buddy Hield who scores more threes than free throws.

So, what about 1 day rest? The only stats with a greater than 1% difference is 1% more 3FG made than normal and an over 1% drop on turnovers.

2 days rest is where it really gets interesting. FGM go up 2%, FTM and FTA both go up 3%, Assists go up 2%, Blocks go up 2% and Points go up 2.4%.

So, Kawhi Leonard sits Game 2 of a B2B, the team is off the following day, and he gets that 2 day rest. A 50 FDP average becomes a 51-52 average. Again, doesn’t seem like much, but every lose a GPP by 2 points? It can make a massive difference from $100k to $1k in a heartbeat.

If 2 is good, 3 is great, right?
Not so fast…
The majority of 3+ days rest are players coming off an injury or players who don’t play unless blowouts occur.

The minute limits notwithstanding by keeping in mind that my statistics here are based on the stats per minute and that players with 3+ days rest tend to lose only 1% of their minutes, the players see a 4% drop in FGM/Min, a 2.6% drop in 3PM, a whopping 7% drop in FTM, a 9% drop in steals, and a massive 11% drop in Blocks.

What’s all this matter? How do I use this information?

I’m not afraid of B2Bs. It’s a factor, but not nearly the factor I thought it was before I did this.
1 Day rest is average.
2 Days rest is good.
Avoid anyone coming back after 3 or more days rest.

I’m writing this on 1-12-21. How will I put this into effect today?

Cleveland is on a back to back. I would expect Cleveland ownership to be depressed because of that and it shouldn’t be. I also see Collin Sexton is coming back (maybe) after 5 days so he’ll be one I avoid like the plague (but then, I did catch Covid-19, so did I really avoid it?). Drummond I have projected for a 50 burger and hopefully people see Utah, a slower pace, and the B2B as three reasons to avoid him.

Indianapolis is on a B2B. With Oladipo likely out, I would expect that to inflate the Pacers ownership, meaning that I lose the advantage of the depressed ownership that is normal on a B2B. However, I then notice that Oladipo will be in that sweet spot of 2 days rest when he returns Thursday night in a juicy matchup against Portland and I’ll be heavier than the field on him, and I expect him to be heavily owned that night to begin with.
Sometimes, eating chalk tastes great.

It truly is that simple.
Hope this helps and happy gaming!

The Yuke

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