Durability seems like a lost art in today’s NBA. Load management, minor injuries, and players trying to stay healthy for the playoffs often make stars take one or two games off at the slightest sign of discomfort.
That’s intended to prolong their career and keep them ready when it matters the most, and while some people argue that players shouldn’t rest during the regular season, it’s clear that this trend isn’t going away any time soon.
As a matter of fact, out of all the players that make a living around the NBA, just 11 managed to play in all 72 games during the regular season. Here, we’re going to let you know about them.
6.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG
Even though Georges Niang isn’t exactly a superstar, he played a huge role off the bench for the Utah Jazz this season. His length and strength have helped them keep one of their strongest defenses in the league, and his ability to spread the floor as a consistent threat from three-point land (40% career shooter) has been quite positive for Quinn Snyder’s team.
10.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG
The Orlando Magic have gone through multiple changes over the season, trading away all their core to finally embrace a rebuild. But one of the few steady spots for them this year has been Dwayne Bacon’s presence. Obviously, his role grew towards the end of the season without Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic on the team, and Terrence Ross sidelined with an injury.
10.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.7 APG
The Indiana Pacers have had to endure a plethora of injuries throughout the season. From Malcolm Brogdon to TJ Warren, Myles Turner, and Caris LeVert. That’s why Justin Holiday has been such a massive asset for them this season. He’s come off the bench or slid into the starting lineup and played at both guard and forward spots. He’s a good defender and a streaky scorer.
11.2 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.2 APG
Once again, the Portland Trail Blazers have to be without Jusuf Nurkic for most of the season. Gladly for them, Enes Kanter didn’t disappoint the slightest. While not a good defender, he gave them a big presence on both ends of the board, thriving as a scoring big man that can get them plenty of second-chance opportunities. And now that Nurkic is back, he’s giving them big minutes off the bench.
9.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.3 APG
The Los Angeles Clippers were one of the most consistent teams in the league this season but, like most contenders, they rested their starters every now and then. That wasn’t the case with Ivica Zubac, who suited up for every single one of their games this season, giving them a lot of energy in limited minutes. His ability to play above the rim and switch into smaller defenders will come up huge in the playoffs.
17.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.9 APG
The Utah Jazz secured the best record in the entire NBA, and while most people will talk about Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert – and rightfully so – we can’t just ignore Bojan Bogdanovic’s contributions. He continues to improve in the defensive end and is just automatic from all three levels, while also being a smart player and a willing facilitator. He had the best season of his career.
13.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.8 APG
It didn’t take long before Duncan Robinson wrote his name among the best pure shooters in the league but he’s made some strides this season as a ball-handler and playmaker as well. We all know that he can get hot in the blink of an eye and that you can’t give him an inch of space beyond the arc, and the fact that he was able to stay on the court throughout the Heat’s injury-riddled season only made him more of a fan favorite.
13.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 APG
The Phoenix Suns’ turnaround wouldn’t have been possible without Mikal Bridges. Not only did he play in every single game for them but also, he established his presence as one of the best defensive wings in the league. Bridges also improved as a three-point shooter and was a more efficient scorer with Chris Paul helping him get the ball on his spots, and he’s only going to get better.
19.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG
Anthony Edwards got off to a slow start of the season as most rookies do. He struggled with his shot when coming off the bench, but once he slid into the starting five, he proved why he was the rightful first-overall pick of the draft. The sky seems to be the limit for this high-flying athlete and his competitive nature is just a treat to watch. He made a strong late push for Rookie of the Year.
17.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 APG
While it’s clear that Julius Randle is the main factor behind the New York Knicks’ success this season, RJ Barrett quietly had an efficient and pretty solid season as well. He doesn’t get enough praise and recognition and is often overshadowed by Ja Morant and Zion Williamson but he proved to be a rising star this year, improving as a playmaker, making better decisions in the offense, and putting up a lot of work and hustle in the defensive end of the floor.
26.4 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 8.3 APG
Nikola Jokic is the clear-cut favorite to take home the MVP award this season and one of the main reasons behind that is his durability. He played every single game for the up-and-coming Denver Nuggets and kept the boat afloat even despite all the injuries they had this season. Jokic is having his best season yet and has established himself as one of the top-tier big men in the Association, and he’s clearly in the best shape he’s ever been.