Although resting is known to be a great way to recover from physical exertion, a recent research on NBA players shows that the number of games missed due to rest has no correlation with players’ performance during playoffs. According to a report from Orthopedics This Week, in a cohort of 811 players, 744 have missed 5 or fewer games, and 67 have missed 5 to 9 games. The result shows no significant difference between the two groups regarding the following metrics: points per game, assistance per game, shooting percentage, blocks, steals, or injury.
The question of how much a player should rest is a concerning one among professional sports leagues, such as NBA, MLB, and NFL. On the one hand, good players assist the team to win more games. On the other hand, overly exerting a small number of players can increase their risks of injury. This study indicates that regular-season rest does not affect performance during playoffs. However, other confounding factors may exist, and future research is needed to uncover the big question of how much rest is optimal to ensure best performance.