Injury Bug Bites at Bad Time

Posted by By at 19 March, at 13 : 24 PM Print

With a little less than a month to go many playoff seeds are still up for grabs and alot is sure to change between now and April 13th. With games meaning more than they did in November and December the intensity is kicked up a notch, possessions are a bit more pressure packed, and for some the playoffs will be starting in the next 2-3 weeks. That being said, it’s an uphill battle trying to make that final push for the post season when you’re missing key players as many teams are at the moment.

Danilo Gallinari returned to Denver’s lineup Friday after missing the last 8 games with a fractured bone in his toe. In only his second game with the Nuggets he had 30 points to go along with 9 boards and was 15-17 from the free-throw line. With the departure of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks his outside shooting will be key in helping free up opportunities for Nene down low and with George Karl often playing Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton at the same time, he should receive no shortage of looks from their penetration.With Denver currently sitting in the fifth spot in the west, 2 games ahead of both Portland and New Orleans,¬†anything short of a full squad playing well could cause them to slip.

When the Jazz take the floor Sunday against the Rockets they may be without Paul Millsap for the 6th consecutive game. His 17 points and 8 rebounds per game would be a welcome sight to Tyrone Corbin, Jazz fans, and maybe more so to Al Jefferson. Jefferson has done more than his share to shoulder the load down low averaging 26 & 12 in Millsap’s absence, but I’m sure he would sacrifice some of those stats for some help. Sitting one game behind the Grizzlies for the 8th and final seed in the west, one game up on the Rockets, and a game a half up on the Suns, the Jazz can’t afford many slip ups along the way. A full strength lineup with their two dominant big men would go along way to help their chances of catching Memphis.

Luis Scola was listed as a game-time decision for Friday’s game with a sore left knee. The decision ending up being to sit him for the 5th game in a row. The team’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder has been a constant force, along with Kevin Martin, for the Houston this year amongst injuries and trades. What Martin does from the perimeter, Scola does down low. Whether its drawing charges or hustling for offensive rebounds his effort and hard work is sorely missed when he’s not on the floor. When he is healthy and back on the court Houston should be able to make a push for the 8th seed as they entered last¬†night only two games behind Memphis.

Channing Frye returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing the last 5 games with a dislocated shoulder. His injury came at a bad time as Phoenix was 5-2 in their last 7 games before he went down. After his injury they’ve gone 1-4, fallen to 33-33, and are sitting as the 11th seed in the west 2.5 games off the pace for the last spot. With Gortat starting to play well it allowed Chandler to play more on the perimeter, which he’s more comfortable doing. Since the calendar turned to February he’s hit 42 treys in only 15 games. Most of those coming off of passes from Steve Nash, who’s also missed a few games this week. If the Suns are to make a last minute push for the final spot in the west, it would be an understatement to say that Nash & Frye will be needed.

The Bulls were without Carlos Boozer Friday for the 5th straight game and you wouldn’t know it by looking at their record. Chicago won 4 of the 5 games by 11, 19, 18, and 18 points and are now the #1 seed in the east. Does this mean they’re better without Boozer? No, it doesn’t. Does mean they’ll be pretty scary when he gets back, again? Yes, it does. With Rose playing at an MVP level, Luol Deng playing like an all-star according to many in the Windy City, a healthy Boozer gives the Bulls a solid third option that can get them 20 & 10 in the playoffs.

The next month is shaping up to be a good one, but it would be a shame to see so many teams with so much on the line going at with not a full compliment of players. “Injuries are apart of the game” has become a cliche in sports and rightfully so. The bad part is that the timing of them is never really good. If they come early in the season they can put you in a hole early that can be too deep to dig out of. If they come late, they can bring your season to a screeching halt. Let’s hope the later is not the case for these teams and their stars recover in time to finish the regular season on a good note.

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One Comment

  1. Mikee, 6 years ago Reply

    Isnt this always the case? Injuries are such a bitch this time of the year. hopefully Kobe stays healthy!


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