Two thumbs up for Midmar Mile

first_img11 February 2008Despite rainy weather throughout Saturday, the 2008 Midmar Mile weekend was a roaring success, with excellent racing, fun and drama, slickly put together into a professional package that kept competitors and spectators well entertained at the world’s largest open water swimming event.A significantly upgraded commentary set-up worked brilliantly. For the first time, big screen televisions covered the action at both the start and finish. Race commentary was provided by people at the start, top swimming coaches in boats on the water, the pilot of a helicopter over the dam, and more commentators at the finish.Besides being broadcast over a far-reaching sound-system, the commentary also went out on 100.5 FM over a 30-kilometre radius around the Midmar Dam.Into focusWith the massive fields of swimmers out in the dam, causing splashes reminiscent of a sardine run on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the comprehensive coverage of the event helped bring into focus the action in the water, at the start and at the finish. Outstanding!The introduction of the Mr Price timing chip played a massive role in making the job of the commentators an easy one. Identifying swimmers, with each of them wearing caps, is not an easy job, but a quick glance at a number and running it through a computer made matters relatively easy.As competitors crossed the timing mats at the finish, their times and names became available, which allowed the commentators to personalise their comments.Ultimately, it made for a warm and feel-good production which made everyone a part of the event.Men’s titleThe primary men’s title, in the category 14-30 years, was claimed by open water swimming star Shaun Dias in a fantastic sprint finish across the timing mat, just ahead of Chad Ho.Dias went out fast from the start, picking up hotspots wins as the 400 metres, 800m, and 1 200m marks. The final 400 metres, however, saw Ho drawing up alongside Dias to match him stroke for stroke as the finish drew near.On the banks, the crowds edged closer to the water, excitement palpable in the air, to watch the drama unfold. Dias was first to his feet, fractionally ahead of Ho. Both immediately turned on the afterburners in a race for the line, with Dias winning in 19:05, only one second ahead of Ho.Visiting Hungarian swimmer Csabo Gersack captured third place in 19:19.Women’s championVictory in the women’s 14-30 went Hungary’s way as Erika Hajnal out-duelled South Africa’s Melissa Corfe to win in her first go at the Midmar Mile.There were shades of 2007 as Hajnal adopted a similar line to the one used by Australia’s Melissa Gorman when she won a year earlier.Corfe took up a line that was as much as 100 metres apart from Hajnal but, after realising the Hungarian was on a better course, she moved inwards in an effort to close the gap. It was too late.Despite a furious finishing burst by Corfe, she couldn’t catch Hajnal, who won in 20:27, three seconds ahead of the South African. Melanie Greyling took third place in 21:48.CharityMembers of the 8-Mile Club, including three-time winner Gareth Fowler, two-time champion Terence Parkin and former Springbok prop Adrian Garvey, completed every race in their distinctive gold caps as they raised money for charity.The Game Charity Challenge swimmers were also prominent with their pink caps as they too swam for charity. In the company relay, 87 swimmers from Game Stores took to the water, with Game donating R1 000 for each swimmer that took part.Event one on Saturday decided a number of titles, including those of the Ironman and Ironwoman. The Ironman/Ironwoman is made up of the previous year’s Comrades Marathon, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, and the Midmar Mile, while the biathlon part of the competition includes the Midmar Mile and Dusi Canoe Marathon, as well as the Midmar Mile and the Comrades Marathon.Ironman titlesRoy Delhove claimed the Ironman title, including all three events, while Kerry Koen was crowned women’s champion.The men’s Ironman biathlon title, including the Comrades and Midmar Mile, went the way of Bruce Gore, while Kerry Koen was again the winner among the women.The Ironman biathlon title, including the Dusi and Midmar Mile, saw Dusi great Hank McGregor top among the men and Angela Scrooby coming out on top among the ladies.Gareth Fowler led Terence Parkin across the finishing line.Included in the field were 30 swimmers from the Sobantu development programme, a success story which was started thanks to the support of the Midmar Mile and the organising club, Pietermaritzburg Seals.Team relaysUnilever Wave defended their title in the company relay, with Brett Clark leading their challenge by finishing third behind 8-Milers’ Fowler and Parkin, who weren’t officially in the running for victory.Event three, the non-company relay, is closely watched as an indicator of the form of the leading swimmers ahead of the main men’s and women’s races on Sunday.Charl van Zyl took victory in 19:45, ahead of JC Thompson and Wesley Gilchrist, but perhaps the most telling result was Melissa Corfe ending sixth overall, the first woman across the line, in 20:05.USN-Spike retained their title.Family relayThe final event on Saturday, the family relay, was won by the Dias family, with Shaun taking first, Paul fifth, and Gareth sixth.Courtney and Kirsten Mower, part of the defending champion team, put the pressure on by ending second and third respectively, with Connie and Caitlyn Mower finishing a little way back to ensure the Mower family finished as runners-up.True magicIt was at the back end of the family relay that the true magic of the Midmar Mile was revealed. Watching spouses, siblings, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, exiting the water together, with mile-wide smiles, pride and love plastered across their features was lump-in-the throat theatre.Here and there messages in marking pens were written on swimmers’ bodies: “4 mum + dad”, “4 dad-zn”, and other more humourous offerings, such as “Learner, please pass”.Much as the true spirit of KwaZulu-Natal’s other major mass-participation events – the Comrades Marathon and the Dusi Canoe Marathon – is to be found among the entrants competing to finish the events, rather than racing to win, so the heart-warming spirit of the Midmar Mile became clear in the family relay.Age group winnersSunday morning’s first event, the women’s 13-and-under and 31-and-over, was won by Kira Hauptfleisch, an under-13 entrant, in a time of 21:27.Stacey Bowley topped the 31-40 age group, while Lulu Cochran, a visitor from the United Kingdom, was number one in the 41-50 section. Rita Townsend won the 51-60 event.The men’s event in the same age divisions was won by Ryno Markgraaff after a fantastic dice against Gregg Price that had the spectators enthralled.Markgraaff’s win saw him take the 31-40 title, while Price won in the 41-50 age group. Lliam Hunt was the top under-13 finisher.Veteran starsLorna Cochran lifted the women’s record for the oldest finisher to 84 years of age, while Mike “Buthy” Arbuthnot swam the Mile for the 35th year in succession. Having been a part of the 8-Mile Club previously, he has swum the race 65 times in total!Apart from Adrian Garvey swimming all eight events, a few other ex Springbok rugby players were in attendance. Former captain Gary Teichmann swam the first race, while Os du Randt was on hand to support his wife, Hannelie, who in her younger days won her national colours for swimming. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Hyundai Elantra TVC introduces ‘big’ small car

first_imgThe Hyundai Motors has reportedly used the idea of a Russian doll to introduce its new Elantra, the small car with big car features.The ad involves designing, engineering and animating 18 mechanical arms to transform a ceiling decoration into robotic apparatus. The campaign launches with a 45-second TV ad, with online, print and point of sale running in support.Hyundai’s marketing director, Oliver Mann, told a website that “The Elantra is the latest new model to be unveiled by Hyundai, and maintains the brand’s reputation for groundbreaking car design, matched by groundbreaking communications.””The new TV spot uses state of the art CGI to convey that Elantra incorporates big car thinking and design in a beautifully compact shell,” he added.It may be noted Hyundai Motors has last month expressed apprension over achieving its sales target for this year on account of higher petrol prices and increased cost of borrowings.Hyundai Motor India marketing and sales director, Arvind Saxena, has said, “In the beginning of the year, we had forecast a 6-7 per cent sales growth. That may be difficult to achieve now.”Saxena said because of cheaper diesel price compared to petrol, customers are preferring diesel cars, adding that diesel models currently comprise 28 per cent of Hyundai’s overall vehicles sales.Hyundai sold 6,16,039 cars and sport-utility vehicles in the previous year. Though the company’s domestic sales were up 4.8 per cent in 2011, which stood at 3,73,709 units, its outbound shipments dropped 1.9 per cent to 2,42,330 units.As to the proposed move to hike duty on diesel cars, Saxena said it would not help the government to augment the revenue collection.advertisementWith Agency inputslast_img read more

21 days ago​Arsenal boss Emery delighted with Tierney performance

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say ​Arsenal boss Emery delighted with Tierney performanceby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is delighted with Kieran Tierney after his return from injury.The summer signing from Celtic backed up his impressive debut last week with another quality display in Thursday’s comfortable win over Standard Liege.Asked about Tierney’s performance, Emery said: “Kieran after his injury is coming back with a good attitude.”He played last week against Nottingham Forest for 80 minutes with a good performance, and tonight was another very good performance.”We are a better competitive team with him and with Sead Kolasinac at left back. We are happy with him.” last_img

Alabama Football: Here’s Video Of Nick Saban’s Daughter Dancing As The Alabama Mascot At Her Wedding

first_imgA closeup of Nick Saban on the Alabama sideline.TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Saturday night, Nick Saban’s daughter, Kristen, got married at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which, of course, is the ultimate dream for any Crimson Tide fan. The wedding was complete with a rendition of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and a number of other Alabama-themed activities for guests. But one takes the cake.Kristen Saban and her new husband, Adam Setas, danced with Alabama mascot heads. Yep, Saban danced with the Big Al headpiece on at her wedding. There was more than one, too. Check it out:Weird? A little. But if you’re going to go full Alabama at your wedding, this is how to do it.last_img read more

4-Star Alabama Commit VanDarius Cowan Makes It Clear He Isn’t Interested In Any Other Schools

first_imgVanDarius Cowan commits to Alabama and poses with Nick Saban.Palm Beach Gardens (FL) defensive end/outside linebacker VanDarius Cowan wants fans to know he’s not considering any other school.After committing to Florida State, Cowan switched his interest to the Crimson Tide, to which he gave a hard commitment in April. With recruits constantly posting their top schools of interest across social media, Cowan took the time to emphasize to ‘Bama fans that he’s not going anywhere else. Here is my Top 4 No order … Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama Thanks To Everyone that have recruited me this far— VanDarius Cowan (@vandarius98) July 15, 2016The OLB is ranked at No. 141 on 247Sports’ National Composite Rankings. The site also ranked him as the 23rd-best player in the state of Florida.last_img

Suspect in Hamilton Good Samaritan shooting arrested along with female police

first_imgHAMILTON – Police say a man wanted in connection the fatal shooting of a Good Samaritan in Hamilton has been arrested.Yosif Al-Hasnawi — described by police as a brave young man who was trying to do the right thing — was shot when he tried to intervene as two men were accosting an older man in downtown Hamilton on Saturday night.A second-degree murder warrant was issued on Monday for 19-year-old Dale Burningsky King, who police say was arrested Thursday afternoon in Hagersville, Ont.Hamilton police say a female arrested at the same time is charged with accessory after the fact to murder.A 20-year-old man who was arrested on Monday in connection with the shooting also faces a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.last_img

Hydrogen sulfide leak at Suncor refinery sends workers to hospital

Filed under: nsjgmbtl — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 4:21 am October 13, 2019

first_imgEDMONTON – A number of people at Suncor’s refinery in Edmonton were sent to hospital after a toxic gas was released.Suncor spokeswoman Erin Rees says company crews responded to a release of hydrogen sulphide at around noon on Wednesday.Rees says a number of employees and contractors were in the vicinity of the release, and were assessed by Suncor and Alberta Health Services personnel.She says a handful were sent to hospital for further assessment, but all were expected to be released.Hydrogen sulphide is a poisonous, corrosive and flammable colourless gas that smells of rotten eggs.Rees says there will be an investigation into the cause of the release.Companies in this story: (TSX:SU)last_img

Bhim Army chief says will fight against PM Modi in Varanasi

Filed under: wztsorsa — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 10:40 am October 12, 2019

first_imgNew Delhi: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Friday addressed a rally with BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s sister and announced that he will contest the Lok Sabha elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Varanasi seat, a move that is likely to upset the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh.The Bhim Army, which has been trying to mobilise Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, also told PTI that it will field a candidate against Union minister Smriti Irani and “wherever there’s a need of a strong nominee against the BJP”. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!At the rally organised to mark the 85th birth anniversary of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram, Chandrashekhar said he would ensure that PM Modi is not re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Varanasi. “I will challenge Narendra Modi in Varanasi… to protect the Constitution and the rights of Dalits. I do not want to become an MP or MLA. Had that been the case, I would have chosen a reserved seat,” he said. “After the prime minister came to know that we are going to challenge him in Varanasi, he started washing the feet of sanitation workers in Allahabad,” the Bhim Army chief said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe BJP is yet to announce the constituency from where Modi will contest the upcoming election. Chandrashekhar alleged that the Narendra Modi government’s decision to give 10 per cent quota to the general category poor is an attack on the Constitution and is aimed at serving the BJP’s interests. Recalling that Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment in Parliament that Modi should become prime minister again, he asked Akhilesh Yadav to answer if his party will protect the rights of Dalits if they voted for it. The Dalit leader also said the SP-BSP alliance should “send (Kanshi Ram’s sister) Swarn Kaur to Parliament”. Bhim Army Vice President Manjeet Nautiyal told PTI that they will field a candidate against Irani and “also on the seats where the SP-BSP alliance is not strong enough to defeat the BJP”. Asked if the Dalit group will support the Congress, he said the Rahul Gandhi-led party did not fight for Dalits for the last 70 years.last_img read more

Mughal emperors descendant claimant moves HC against release of film Ram Ki

first_imgNew Delhi: People have to be tolerant if the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution has to survive, the Delhi High Court said on Wednesday. The observation by the court came while hearing a plea by a man, who claims to be a descendant of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, seeking to stop the release of a film titled ‘Ram Ki Janmabhoomi’. “This court is of the view that whether right or not, people have to be tolerant if Article 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution has to survive,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder The court was hearing the petition by Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be a descendant of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, seeking directions to the movie’s producers and the Centre to stop release of the film which is slated to hit theatres on March 29. The observation assumes significance in view of the fact that Prince Yakub has alleged that the movie contained a “personal attack” on him and his “royal” family and would also affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings He has also alleged that the film could create communal tensions in the country. The court, after hearing the petitioner’s lawyers, said the petition did not mention which portions of the movie or its trailer defamed him and his family or were a threat to the nation’s sovereignty and asked him to file a transcript of the objectionable content. The judge said the petitioner appeared to have based his entire case on the title of the movie. The court directed Tucy to file an amended petition, including the transcript of the objectionable portions, and listed the matter for hearing on Thursday.last_img read more

What Wouldve Happened If Nobody Had Gotten Hurt in the NBA This

When Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ dervish of a point guard, went down in the 11th game this season, it was the 2012-2013 season all over again. Rose sat out that entire season recovering from a torn ACL and watched his team finish 45-37 and put up a fight against the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. This season was supposed to be different — and now it wasn’t going to be at all.Something else wasn’t different: The Bulls managed to finish above .500 without Rose yet again. That was for a whole host of reasons: the remarkable play of center Joakim Noah, the stellar coaching of Tom Thibodeau and an Eastern conference filled with chum, among others. But Chicago’s record this year also indicates that an injury — even of a star player — doesn’t always ruin a team’s regular season as much as we think it might. Sometimes the replacements are better than replacement level. And sometimes they just don’t swing that many games.The Bulls’ record without Rose is just one anecdote, but this was a busy year for injuries in the NBA. Together, the league’s athletes missed more than 4,900 games to injury, the highest total since the 2008-09 season. Eighteen teams saw more games missed due to player injury than the prior season.For the last two years, I’ve kept a database of every injury in the NBA — what the injury was, who suffered it, how many games he missed, etc. (Odd hobby, I know, but this is what happens when you’re an injury analyst.) The database includes every game missed since the 2008-09 season and includes more than 850 players. After watching such an entertaining yet injury-riddled season this year, I started wondering if that database could tell us whether and how the results would have changed if every player in the league had stayed healthy. Like, really healthy. So healthy that there wasn’t a single injury. Who makes the playoffs then?To create this alternate universe, I put my database to work, simulating an entire season in which games missed because of injury were excluded.1Games missed for personal reasons or suspensions were retained. That meant approximating who took the place of the injured players, using injury listings and minute distributions2I went through every team and tabulated each player’s starter minutes versus bench minutes, and how those minutes changed after injury, when I could. to calculate a total number of minutes played for each player on a team’s roster. An important note: My method only tabulates when players play or don’t play; it doesn’t try to understand how a player’s value is affected if he’s playing through an injury.Then, with FiveThirtyEight’s help, I assigned each player a talent rating using Daniel Myers’s ASPM, a box-score-based performance metric that does the best job of telling us how hypothetical universes play out.3The FiveThirtyEight crew used an ASPM aging curve and came up with “talent” ratings for each player based on an age-adjusted weighted average of his performance this season and over the previous two seasons. Once we weighted those talent ratings by the estimate of minutes played, we had a sense of how good each team would be with all of its players. From there, we simulated a whole new season using the 2013-14 NBA schedule, and compared the injury-free hypothetical reality to the actual season.All that left us with what could have been, but almost certainly can never be. As you read the divisional breakdowns below, it’s important to remember that this alternate reality is not a glimpse into how a team would have improved or regressed if it never had to play a replacement player. Instead, it’s a holistic portrait of what would have happened to an entire league if no player missed time due to injury. You’ll see that some teams have worse records in the injury-free space (the New York Knicks, the Detroit Pistons, etc.), which might make you think their replacements were in fact better than their starters, even if the starters were healthy. But it’s really because in our alternate reality these teams don’t improve as much as other teams in the league, leading to more losses against full-strength opponents.With all that preamble out of the way, here’s what an injury-free league looks like in each division, and in the overall playoff picture.Eastern ConferenceIt’s easier to make a surprising run to the top of your division when you’re the healthiest team in the league, as the Toronto Raptors were this season. If the Brooklyn Nets’ center Brook Lopez hadn’t fractured his right foot’s fifth metatarsal and forwards Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko hadn’t succumbed to back spasms that cost them a combined 45 games, the simulation predicts a healthy Nets team would have flirted with 50 wins. That increases their win total by four games, placing them first in the division. In real life, injuries overextended the minutes of veterans Garnett and Paul Pierce and increased the responsibilities of role players like Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic.Not even a clean bill of health rescues the other teams in the division. The New York Knicks get worse in our alternate reality, not helped by their power forward Andrea Bargnani making up the 40 games he missed. Same for the Boston Celtics and their point guard Rajon Rondo. And the Philadelphia 76ers are hopeless no matter what: Rookie Nerlens Noel4In our simulation, rookies who never played were assigned league-average quality ratings. and shooting guard Jason Richardson, along with several other players, aren’t enough to keep them from finishing with the league’s second-worst record.Not even a healthy Derrick Rose stops the Indiana Pacers’ march to the top of the Central Division. The Bulls’ worse record in our alternate universe doesn’t mean the Bulls would be worse with Rose, but more likely that the rest of the league gets even more of a full-strength bump than Chicago does, leading to 1.6 more losses for the Bulls.The biggest drop in the division comes for the Detroit Pistons, who were the 11th-healthiest team in the league, with players missing 128 games overall. Despite their health, the Pistons still couldn’t win 30 games, and they fare even worse once the rest of the league is healthy, losing 3.5 more games in the simulation. The Milwaukee Bucks were the Eastern Conference team most handicapped by injury this season, with their players missing 318 games, but they gain only an extra 2.7 wins in the simulation. That suggests their roster was never that competitive to begin with. And Cleveland, despite adding 31 games from shooting guard C.J. Miles in the simulation, only records a slight uptick, winning a bit more than an extra game.The Southeast remains the most competitive division in the Eastern Conference when injuries are excluded, but with an even denser grouping among its middle three teams. The team at the top of the division, the Miami Heat, distances itself thanks in part to a healthy Dwyane Wade. Wade’s 28 recovered games help net Miami 4.2 more wins, propelling the Heat to the top of the division and the conference.The middle three teams — Washington, Atlanta, and Charlotte — all clump together, with Atlanta winning an extra game thanks in part to a boost from the return of center Al Horford (53 games missed). Washington and Charlotte, meanwhile, dip. A never-absent Nene doesn’t help Washington much, since in reality the Wizards went 12-9 during the 21 games he wasn’t on the court. Charlotte was the team that most took advantage of an injury-filled NBA, finishing 5.8 wins above its record in the injury-free reality, so some regression to the mean is expected. And the Magic, well, the Magic aren’t notable in either reality.Western ConferenceThe San Antonio Spurs remain the best team in the league, but with a franchise-record breaking 65.7 wins, 3.7 more than they actually had during the regular season. That’s what happens when you get an extra 44 combined games from Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.Houston’s five-man starting unit finished ninth in most minutes played together this season, so it’s not surprising that the Rockets are unaffected by an injury-neutral schedule. The majority of Houston’s injuries occurred to bench players, and a few more games from backup center Omer Asik don’t move the needle.Despite an additional 23 games from a healthy Marc Gasol, Memphis’s record drops a bit, with the Grizzlies losing 3.4 more games than they did in reality. Perhaps it’s because the teams they faced during Gasol’s absence were in poor health, including a James Harden-less Rockets squad, a Brooklyn team without Deron Williams, a New Orleans Pelicans team missing Anthony Davis and a Bulls team lacking Rose. Memphis’s play may improve with Gasol in the lineup (the Grizzlies went 10-13 while he was out) but so, too, do the rosters of the teams they face. That drops them below the Dallas Mavericks, who lose ground (2.2 games) but less of it than Memphis. At the bottom of the division, the New Orleans Pelicans gain the second-most games in the league (5.1), with the help of a full season from Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, a trio that, in reality, played just 15 games together.At the top of the Northwest Division, the Oklahoma City Thunder only get better, winning 3.6 more games with the help of a healthy Russell Westbrook, who missed 36 games this season. Those extra games help put more distance between the Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers, who decline as the league gets healthier. Only Indiana’s starters played more minutes together this season than the Blazers’ starting five.The majority of Minnesota’s injuries didn’t occur until the final weeks of the season and didn’t have a major impact on the Timberwolves’ overall finish. But the team directly behind them in the standings can use injuries as a legitimate excuse for failing to meet expectations. Denver lost more than 130 games to three separate ACL tears, including 82 games from starting small forward Danilo Gallinari. Combine those games with Javale McGee’s tibia fracture and it’s easy to see why the Nuggets finished as the NBA team most affected by injuries. They win 5.4 more games in our injury-free utopia.The Utah Jazz are bad in all realities. The team ranked as one of the healthiest in the league, and it seems the Jazz likely picked up a few wins due to other teams’ injuries — wins that fall away in our simulation.The Los Angeles Clippers remain the elite team in the Pacific and improve their record by two wins with an extra 20 games from Chris Paul. Two wins may seem like a small shift for the return of a player as good as Paul, but the Clippers played well without him (earning a .650 winning percentage), blunting the effects of his loss.Like Portland, Golden State’s starting unit remained largely unscathed for most of the year, which knocks 2.4 wins off their total once the rest of the league becomes as healthy as they were. South 350 miles, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered through a nightmare season, losing player after player to injury with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol (who combined to miss 165 games) and others sitting for significant stretches throughout the year. Yet removing these injuries doesn’t do much for the Lakers’ playoff push. It helps them pass Sacramento in the standings, but they only win 3.7 more games with all their players.The real surprise is in Phoenix, not because the Suns’ record changes much (they gain only 0.1 wins), but because the rest of the league changes just enough that the Suns make the playoffs in an injury-free simulation. The Grizzlies are suddenly left out of the playoff picture, finishing .003 percentage points behind the Mavs for the eighth playoff spot.The Suns are the only team to make the playoffs in the injury-free reality that didn’t in the actual season we just watched. Without injuries, playoff seedings change — it’s Miami, not Indiana that has home court advantage in the East — and as bad as the Eastern Conference was, it’s even worse once the whole league is at full strength. But all in all, very little is different.For the endless talk about how injuries changed the game this season, if the entire league were healthy, the NBA would still look more or less like the NBA as we saw it. It’d just be a bit more entertaining. read more

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