“The grind of the season is not anywhere near right now."
Is the In-Season Tournament getting stars to play? The Finder digs in.
The In-season Tournament returns on Friday for its second slate of Group Play games, which strikes me as a good time to check in on the biggest issue plaguing the NBA: stars missing games.
And so far, as the greatof Good Morning It’s Basketball eloquently laid out this week, the early returns appear very positive. Ziller points out that the 15 All-NBA players from last season have played in 94 percent of their games, a number that will surely excite fans and business partners.
A more-granular analysis uncovers some really interesting insights. Here at The Finder HQ, I’ve been tracking star availability this season with an eye toward how it compares to recent seasons. For this ongoing study, I’ve decided to use the NBA’s official definition of “star” player (players who have been named to an All-Star or All-NBA team in the previous three seasons), which casts a larger net and includes big-name players like Devin Booker, Zion Williamson and Kawhi Leonard – for a total of 49 players.
What do the early trends show? How does it compare to the past? And what do coaches and executives think about the early returns? Let’s dive in.