How Far Does a Pro Basketball Plyr. Run During Game?


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How Far Does a Pro Basketball Plyr. Run During Game?

Postby bijanc » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:38 am

I was discussing the US-CR futbol-in-the-snow conditions last night w/ a Brazilian, who follows the NBA relatively closely. He asked if I knew how far the avg. NBA player runs if he plays most (40 min.) of a pro game. It came up because we were talking about soccer in cold weather, and that soccer players on that level are said to run some 6-8 KM, or four miles a game.

I had no clue, but said because the NBA court is much shorter than a pitch (94 ft.), so much movement is lateral or backpedaling, and there are defensives pauses and post play, I wouldn't expect they run as far as footballers. Still, given the number of possessions, avg. # of "transition" plays, and the # of minutes involved, I imagine there are ways to estimate how far NBA'ers run.

I'm certain trainers know, and in preseason, a player could wear a device that measured this distance.
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Re: How Far Does a Pro Basketball Plyr. Run During Game?

Postby Marlow » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:59 am

Just as a point of order: you can be in superb running shape and still be run to your knees in a real basketball game. The anaerobic demands are tremendous. The 'sprint, stop, start, repeat' is killer over a 40-minute game, even if you only play 32 of it. Been there, tried to do that. :shock:
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Re: How Far Does a Pro Basketball Plyr. Run During Game?

Postby bambam » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:42 am

Marlow wrote:Just as a point of order: you can be in superb running shape and still be run to your knees in a real basketball game. The anaerobic demands are tremendous. The 'sprint, stop, start, repeat' is killer over a 40-minute game, even if you only play 32 of it. Been there, tried to do that. :shock:


In high school our basketball coach had those of us not playing football (=me), go out for cross-country to "get in shape" for basketball. I did that my sophomore year and it was worthless. As Marlow said, my fast twitch fibers made me a pitiful cross-country runner and did not seem to help at all with the continual wind sprints that is a basketball game.
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Re: How Far Does a Pro Basketball Plyr. Run During Game?

Postby bijanc » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:31 pm

seen online: (some boards imply they run as far as footballers)

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/arc ... 22233.html

[url]http://www.ihoops.com/training-room/strength-and-conditioning/How-Far-Do-You-Run-During-a-Basketball-Game-.htm
[/url]

Oooh, math and basketball. I may have to stop halfway through this post for a cold shower.

Anyway, in the 1994-1995 NBA season (http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/st ... mstats.txt), the average number of possessions in a game for one team on offense was 95.2. With 2 teams, the average number total becomes 190.4.

The court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. While fully recognizing that most players sit a decent bit and also don't do full 94X50 routes, I'll take a shot at estimating movement. Obviously, the distances are also different by position. Posts probably go 88 feet end to end but move less during set plays. They also don't rack up fast break feet. Guards, may move only from 3 point line to 3 point line, but in guarding the perimeter and running fast breaks pick up more feet. So, I'll call it essentially even.

With 190.4 possessions per game (PoPG) and a 48 minute game, each PoPG lasts an average of 15.12 seconds. All distances will be biased towards posts since that is what I am and I can more easily guesstimate distances traveled. One average possession would be 88 feet from block to block. In 15 seconds, 3 swings of the ball can occur, or 2 swings and penetration. Since the lane is 12 feet wide, take an average of 2.5 trips per possession side to side for 30 feet. Positioning and footwork probably add 8-10 steps, or approximately 20 feet. A rebound battle adds another 5 in shifting. All told, that gives us 88+30+20+5=143 feet in one possession.
143*190.4 = 27,227.2 feet or 5.16 miles. So, Wilt Chamberlain probably averaged over miles per game, as would any player who plays a majority of minutes and is the focus of an offense with important defensive responsibilities (think Jordan).

The average starter probably only logs 3.5-4 miles.
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