Webster won't skim on sleep before games

Webster won't skim on sleep before games
November 12, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Webster finally starting a season one-hundred percent healthy

Washington Wizards forward Martell Webster (9) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Wizards 92-84.

(Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

Everyone knows Martell Webster can be a tad quirky, maybe even borderline immature at times.

But in a good way. In his ninth NBA season, the locker-room prankster isn't joking when he suggests that he needs exactly one hour and 43 minutes of nap time before games.

Not one minute more. Not one minute less.

And while it sounds wacky -- or just Martell being Martell -- maybe it's not.

The Dallas Mavericks, who the Wizards play tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on CSN+, have commissioned a sleep study on their players by Fatigue Science in Vancouver. 

Players wear digital wristbands to gauge habits, such as traveling across time zones, and they can tie it to performance. The data can be paired with the SportVU technology in 30 NBA arenas, too.

Six cameras in the rafters are affixed to every player on the court so teams now can judge who runs fastest down court, how often, how much he holds the ball, contests shots, scores in traffic, hockey assists and so much more. 

All of this information is condensed into an analytical overview that can tell a team statistics that was never before thought imaginable. And with the sleep data, the Mavericks will have another tie-in to determine how performance is positively or negatively impacted.  

Fortunately for Webster, being from Seattle which is the home of cutting-edge companies such as Microsoft and Amazon.com, he is familiar with this. 

He wore the digital wristband when he played for the Portland Trail Blazers to begin his career. He doesn't need it now because Webster knows his habits and stresses to teammates that the results are real.

"Make sure your sleep schedule is the same as when you play at home. When you're always on the West coast, you're honestly going to sleep at the same time that you would on the East coast," he said. "Shootaround should be somewhere at the same time."

Even when playing at Verizon Center, Webster returns home, showers, eats and takes the 1:43 nap.

"It works. Your body needs to be rejuvenated before you play, plain and simple," he said. "The best way to do that with this profession is to make sure you keep it as close to home."

The Wizards have opened the season 1-3 on the road going into Tuesday's game. They only won seven games on the road last season, nine in 2011-12, three in 2010-11, 11 in 2009-10 and six in 2008-09.

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