So, I was thinking about Nolan and his forced sit... could it actually in some strange way not be a total negative for him?
I just wonder... he had lost his starting spot, he had run into immediately foul trouble in a few games in a row, and generally as an athlete you have to believe he was pressing a little and probably not happy with things. Does being forced away in this uncontrollable way maybe help Nolan by taking a bit of the immediately pressure off of him, and allow him to "miss" the game a bit, maybe turning the focus from "Argh you better improve why are you playing subpar?!" to "Hey, come back as you can and do what you can, and we know you are really looking forward to coming back?" Also, will his return be a nice pick-up for the boys?
Anyway... just thinking of silver linings and all.
I've thought the same thing. Nolan started the season strong. His play really deteriorated (injury?) and I was concerned that he would need the off season to get back on track. Elliot stepped in and has been great but we still need Nolan. Hopefully this break will be what he needs to get back on track. The silver lining in Nolan's poor play has been the emergence of Elliot. The silver lining in Nolan's injury could be a rejuvenated Nolan playing with Elliot.
I've never read this anywhere and have absolutely no inside information, but isn't it possible Nolan's head was messed up by missing the switch at Wake Forest on the game ending play?
Nolan's a young guy with a ton of pressure on him, not only as the "Duke PG," but especially the way he got the starting spot. He was an absolute stud in HS, playing in the Rucker game with Beasley and all the rest of the HS elite, yet hasn't dominated in college yet. I love the kid, and think his development is key to our success this year and next, but all that can mess with one's head.
I think the time sitting can be a great thing for him, so long as he doesn't come back gun shy of contact.
We know Nolan hurt his knee in January and struggled after that. We know he had some back issues before the UVA game, but played great. We don't know if he's had other injury issues, because Duke doesn't generally disclose injuries. We routinely learn after the season that Duke players have been playing hurt for some time (e.g., Lance last year). So isn't it just as (or more) likely that Nolan is struggling physically?
If that is true, then two weeks off might be a good thing (putting aside the concussion).
That's what I was thinking. Especially if the talk of back spasms was true. A couple weeks off could help the back immensely, and if his knee wasn't 100% when he came back, it could help the knee heal up the rest of the way, too. Assuming that we can get the head 100% healthy, which is a MUST, he should come back ready and rarin' to go. The question is whether the head can get 100% healthy soon enough.
LET'S GO DUKE!
Of course this is all speculation (we mortal fans never have full disclosure) but honestly, whether the issues are physical, mental or a combination of both, 10-14 days rest should have a positive effect.
On a quite possibly related note, "back spasms" and "lower back pain" are much more often manifestations of psychological stress than they are true physiologic problems. This is not to say that Nolan's back problems were or were not psychosomatic in nature; however, it wouldn't be surprising given the intense pressure placed on these guys to perform.
Again, to be clear, in my opinion there is nothing inherently superior about physical problems, so to assert that it's possible Nolan's back pain could be a manifestation of stress is not meant to be an insult.
As a physician, I see physiologic manifestations of psychological stressors on a daily basis. I realize that your comments weren't specifically related to Nolan's physical problems, but nevertheless the attitude that it is somehow perjorative to suggest that a player might have some psychological component of 'not living up to expectations' is integral to the somatization I see in my work all too frequently.