Injuries have always been a part of professional sports. Especially come playoff time when every game counts and when every little injury can turn things around. The NBA is no exception and it can safely be said that the injury status of teams has often decided the champs for that year.
This year, it seems that injuries might outright decide the majority of series. In fact, the way things are going, the team that loses the least players to injury might almost automatically win the title in the end.
We are exaggerating, of course, but somehow it feels that this year has been particularly bad for NBA players, and many of them are among the biggest stars on their team.
The biggest star injury so far has been Steph Curry’s Grade 1 MLC sprain that he suffered in the fourth game of the Warriors series against the Rockets. This injury will probably sideline him between 2 and 6 weeks and it might have devastating effects on the Warriors’ chances, like we wrote on Monday.
A Western Conference team whose chances of making a splash this year have been all but shattered are the Los Angeles Clippers whose two best players suffered injuries that will prevent them from playing anymore games season. Blake Griffin’s quad injury and Chris Paul’s hand fracture have left the Clips team without their 1-2 punch. They are all but done for the season and they will probably get knocked out by the Trail Blazers.
The innumerable injuries that plagued the Memphis Grizzlies in the second part of the season have already taken their toll, with the Grizz being dispatched summarily by the San Antonio Spurs, a team that does a mix of old and healthy surprisingly well. At the moment, they are the healthiest team in the West and this makes them incredibly dangerous. Not that they wouldn’t be if others were perfectly healthy, of course.
There are a few injuries that might complicate things in the Eastern Conference as well. Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics is out indefinitely and it is questionable he will play another game this year. Add to that the ankle injury that will probably keep Isaiah Thomas out of their game against the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow and you get a dire situation for the Boston team.
Another injury that has been complicating things in the East is the Charlotte Hornets’ Nicholas Batum injury. He is questionable for today’s game against the Miami Heat, the crucial game 5 in a tied series.
We are just hoping this is the end to all the injuries.