How Much Do NBA Players Run In A Game?

A comprehensive look at how much NBA players run during an average game.


In the National Basketball Association (NBA), players run an average of three to six miles per game.

The NBA’s Rule Changes

In 2005, the NBA made a rule change that would revolutionize the game we know and love today. They mandated that each team must have the ball in the front court for at least 8 seconds before they can attempt a shot. This rule change was brought about to increase the amount of scoring and to make the game more exciting.

The shot clock

In 1954, the NBA introduced the 24-second shot clock to speed up the game and to keep teams from holding on to the ball and running out the clock. The shot clock was an important rule change because it changed the way teams played offense. Before the shot clock, teams would often slow down the pace of the game and wait for a good shot. But with the shot clock, teams had to move the ball around and take a shot within 24 seconds, or they would lose possession of the ball.

The shot clock helped make basketball a more fast-paced and exciting sport. It also gave players more opportunity to score points, which made games more exciting for fans. Today, the shot clock is one of the most important rules in basketball, and it has helped make basketball one of the most popular sports in the world.

The three-point line

In order to increase scoring, and to create more excitement, the NBA moved the three-point line in for the 2019-2020 season. This is the second time in history that the league has changed the three-point line, with the first change happening prior to the 1979-1980 season. Here are the specifics of the change:

-The three-point line will be 22 feet, 1¾ inches in all corners, and 23 feet, 9 inches at the top of the key.
-This is a slight decrease from last season’s distance of 22 feet, 2½ inches in all corners, and 23 feet, 8½ inches at the top of the key.
-The rule change was approved by NBA owners at their annual meeting in October 2018.

The rationale behind making this change was that there were becoming too many deep threes attempted and made (especially from Steph Curry), and that this was resulting in a decreased importance of mid-range jumpers. In addition, with players like Curry and Damian Lillard making threes with regularity from 30+ feet away from the basket, it was becoming harder for defenses to close out on shooters, as they simply didn’t have enough time to run out at them.

How Much Players Actually Run

According to a recent study, the average NBA player runs about 3.5 miles per game. This number may seem low, but keep in mind that players are constantly stopping and starting, and they don’t run the entire length of the court. The study also found that players typically sprint for about one minute of the game.


The amount of running a player does in a game depends on their position. Guards tend to run the most, while centers the least. Here is a breakdown of how much each position runs per game, on average:

Point guard – 5.9 miles
Shooting guard – 5.7 miles
Small forward – 5.5 miles
Power forward – 5.3 miles
Center – 4.9 miles

Playing time

The average NBA player runs about 3 miles during a game. However, this number will vary depending on the player’s position. For example, point guards tend to run more than centers. The amount of running also depends on how much playing time a player has. Players who are on the court for more minutes will obviously run more than players who are on the court for fewer minutes.

There are a few other factors that can affect how much a player runs during a game. One is the pace of play. Games that are played at a faster pace will require players to run more than games that are played at a slower pace. Another factor is how close the game is. Players tend to run more when the game is close because they want to make sure they’re in position to make a play if the game is on the line.

So, how much do NBA players actually run during a game? It depends on a variety of factors, but the average player runs about 3 miles.

The Bottom Line

NBA players run an average of 2.7 miles per game, or approximately 433 yards.


-Basketball Statistics and History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2020, from
-sWhat Is the Average Amount of Running in an NBA Game? | (2020, September 28). Retrieved October 10, 2020, from

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