NBA Load management needs to be addressed

The term “load management” has been a highly debated topic for quite some time in the NBA. Players taking time off to make sure that they’re not “too exhausted” or too worn down, come playoff time. Maybe they might have a small minor injury, and they’re sitting, or they don’t want to play back-to-back games because they don’t want to.

These are things that I absolutely never saw growing up watching the game. 
And I do mean ever. It was a badge of honor for a player to play the full season, players wanted to play the full season. It wasn’t reckless, it wasn’t stupid, they’re getting paid to play a basketball game for the entire season, so they’re expected to play the entire season. They loved playing the game, including playing through minor injuries. Why wouldn’t they play? They’re getting paid loads of money to play a game that they played for free the vast majority of their lives. 

Load management seemed to really start in San Antonio years ago when Greg Popovich would start sitting his stars. It seemed a lot of the excuses then were that they were older, and wanted them to be fresh later in the season, in the playoffs. And we all know that sports is a copycat profession, where if something is effective for one, other teams will try it too. 
And here we are.

In this day and age of entitlement and softness, it’s not completely shocking to see star players just sitting around on the bench watching, almost like they’re the Varsity guys on the team, coming to watch the JV squad. One of the things that really breaks down is a lot of this shows no competitive spirit, no pride, and no desire to fight. These star players all want max deals and play part-time, it’s ridiculous. 

Now there’s mumblings about lowering the regular season from 82 to 60 games. The basketball season is a long season, you have to be durable, you have to have a drive  and you have to stay competitive for the whole season. The guys back in the ’60s, 70s and 80s never cried about load management. 
What is going on?

These guys are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game and have fun doing it. They need to just be good employees and go to work, which means playing basketball. “Going to work” means many different things to the vast majority of people. These players are in a very fortunate situation to be paid a lot of money to go play a game. They need to be grateful, and go do their “job” and be the VegasTopDog for their team and the fans.

Not to mention the fact that fans paid good money to go and watch these guys play. They are the reason why these guys are getting the paychecks that they get, because of the fans. And when someone goes to watch their favorite player and he’s just sitting on the bench, because he’s a little too “tuckered out” to play back-to-back games, as a 27-year-old in his prime athlete, that’s not right, nobody’s going to tell me that it’s okay. 

Something needs to be done about this. Maybe pay players by the game. Have an agreed upon salary and then divide it out amongst the number of games in the season. If they sit out, they lose money, that’s common math. You play for pay. 

It all comes back to work ethic, that’s the truth. It just seems they don’t want to give 100% effort anymore. Karl Malone played 82 games on 10 different occasions in his career, John Stockton never missed – Reggie Miller played 80+ games in a season on 10 occasions in his career. 

Just sitting out was absolutely never an option for these guys. They wanted to go out and compete. They wanted to go out and play. Go figure.

A bigger disappointment, QB Matt Ryan or Russell Wilson

The Colts went out and made their big quarterback signing this year in the off season when they picked up 38-year-old Matt Ryan. A former MVP and a quarterback with great play and respect in his 14 years playing the position. The Colts have had some really raunchy recent history with QBs. Seemingly always just trying to find that one last piece for the team to make some real noise. When Andrew Luck retired back in 2018 and left the team scrambling for who was going to be the team leader, they went through Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, and of course, now they picked up Matt Ryan. 

But Matt Ryan’s season this year has been anything but what the Colts have been expecting or hoping from him. With a season of 4 out of 7 games below 252 yards and the season total of 9 TDs and 3 interceptions so far with just a 43.8 QBR, the 6-4 former Boston College quarterback has just been a disaster. Now granted the Colts have a running back in Jonathan Taylor who when healthy, they can fully expect to lean on and wanted to use Matt Ryan basically as a backup of insurance to move the ball through the air. So Matt Ryan’s job was really just to help the ship remain straight. Philip Rivers went 11-5, Carson Wentz had a record of 9-8, the offense for Rivers was 9th in the NFL, and the offense for Wentz was 9th in the NFL. Ryan on the other hand had the Colts sitting at 30th in the NFL and they’re looking more like a 6-7 win team right now. 

Now the Broncos went out and picked up Russell Wilson, the 34-year-old quarterback from Seattle. Wilson, a 12-year veteran that came in with 37,059 career passing yards and 292 career touchdown passes would certainly be expected to bring some quarterback power to your team. Wilson went to a team that had some good wide receivers in Cortland Sutton and Jerry Judy along with a really nice double running back tag team with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. And as of this article, Russell Wilson has put up just a 58.8% completion rate, 6 TDs and 35.5 QBR this year and has Denver bumbling along on offense putting up just 15.1 /game. 

Russell Wilson has had 3 games where he threw for a 54% completion rate or worse, and still has not had more than 2 touchdowns in a game. Denver wom 7 games last year with a quarterback carousel with the offensive line that they have in the wide receivers and the running backs. It makes you wonder why hasn’t Russell brought this team to another level? A QB of his status and skill set would surely be able to bring them another 3-4 wins, especially with a pair of 900 yard WRs on the team in 2021.

Matt Ryan lost his starting job to a 24 year old kid Sam Ehlinger. Nobody coming into the 2022 campaign – would have expected to see their veteran signing get pushed to the bench. But, when all that is said is done, with the amount of collateral that was used to get Russell Wilson and the amount of skilled offensive weapons that Denver has, the Broncos still definitely have been the most disappointed in their big offseason quarterback pickup. Don’t be disappointed with your NFL Football picks, be sure to visit VegasTopDogs today!