What Is DNP In Basketball – What It Really Means

In sports, you’ll find many short terms that describe various things. “DNP” is one such term. It’s not too common, and a lot of folks might not know it.

Devoted fans who track every detail of the league and players often recognize DNP. However, if you’re someone who catches a game occasionally, DNP might be new to you.

We’re here to clear that up.

What Is DNP In Basketball
What Is DNP In Basketball

What Is DNP in Basketball?

DNP means Did-Not-Play, which means if a player is on the bench and did not get a chance to play on the field but was a part of the team, then the term DNP is used.

It could also be due to other factors like injury or personal reasons. But in the game stats, it’s simply noted as DNP.

When a Player Gets DNP?

When a player gets a DNP, standing for “Did Not Play,” it means they weren’t in the game.

It’s important to remember there are lots of reasons for a DNP, and it doesn’t always mean the player isn’t good or didn’t do well.

One big reason for a DNP is if a player is injured or sick. When they’re hurt or not feeling good, it’s smarter for them to skip the game. This helps them not get worse or hurt themselves more.

In these times, the coaches and health team usually decide the player should rest and get better for later games.

Another reason for a DNP is the coach’s choice. Coaches make game plans thinking about things like the game strategy, who they’re playing, how the team works together, and who gets to play when.

So, really good players might not play because of the coach’s game plan.

Finally, a player might not play in a game if they’re listed as inactive. This could be because of team rules, how things are in the team, or the coach liking other players for that game.

Why is DNP used?

Everyone knows that a basketball team can have as many as 12 players on its roster. But this doesn’t mean every player will get to play in the game.

In basketball, only 5 players from a team can be on the court at once. Often, there’s not enough time in a game to let all 12 players play. So, the players who don’t get a chance to play are called DNP, which means “Did Not Play,” or sometimes they’re called benchwarmers.

Sometimes they're called benchwarmers
Sometimes they’re called benchwarmers

What Is A Box Score?

The box score is where you find all the stats from a game. You’d check it to see who won and to look at player stats like points, assists, and rebounds. The DNP’s were also listed in the box scores.

Box scores used to be in the newspaper and came out every day, but not as the games happened. Older sports fans like us remember waking up and looking through the Sports page in the newspaper for the box scores of our favorite college and NBA games.

Basic Box Score Stats
Basic Box Score Stats

For us as fans of the Golden State Warriors in the ‘90s, many of their game box scores didn’t show up daily because the games were on the West Coast. Sometimes, weeks would pass without us seeing their scores or stats.

Today, you can still find box scores in newspapers, but most fans go to websites like ESPN or nba.com for instant updates. It’s amazing to think about how long we used to wait to get game results.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, a DNP can be really important in a game. Other times, it doesn’t change much. If a star player gets a DNP because they’re injured or resting, it could be the difference between winning and losing.

But if a player who usually sits at the end of the bench keeps getting DNP’s all season, it might not matter much. What’s important is understanding that the term DNP is a key part of the game.

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