During this playoff run in the NBA and really, starting in the second round, the dreaded injury bug has made its appearance in major way. In the form of a hamstring or knee. Unless, you’re John Wall and then you have 5 non-displaced fractures in your left hand and wrist. Ouch! Playing three more games after the fractures was certainly commendable in an eventual second round, 6 game elimination to the Atlanta Hawks.
However, the main injuries seem to surround the hamstring and the knee. Here are some key injuries that happened to key guys, mostly involving the hamstring and knee.
Tony Allen of the Grizzlies missed a key game 5 versus the Warriors in the second round, due to a sore left hamstring. Players, coaches and commentators were wondering how Allen hadn’t missed more than one game of the playoffs considering his various injuries. Allen is scrappy, and him not sitting out games because it’s the playoffs just speaks to the 1st time all defensive team member for 2014-15. The Grizzlies bitten by the injury bug. All part of basketball. Right?! Right!
The Clippers had issues with their PG Chris Paul missing games because of an injured hamstring. In theory anyway. Despite no Paul in Game 6 of the Western Conference first round versus the Spurs, behind Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers, the Clippers beat San Antonio and eventually set up their fate, blowing a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semi-Finals to the Houston Rockets who have an injury or two of their own to deal with. Los Angeles got lucky with not having Paul’s injury seem so apparent during the semi-finals vs. the Rockets, but it couldn’t stop Houston from winning the series and trying so spoil Golden State’s return to prominence.
With mention of knees and hamstrings, Dwight Howard of the Rockets is dealing with the former, which reared it’s ugliness in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Houston saw themselves fall short to Golden State in the conference final opener and look to steal home court in game 2, possibly without Howard, who is still feeling the effects of a sore knee, making him questionable for the game. If any team could do it though without a star player, it would be the Rockets, who are now used to playing without Howard after he missed 41 games in the regular season. Again, why aren’t James Harden and Kevin McHale getting more credit for what they were able to do?! To be fair, Harden is where he probably should be, getting second in MVP voting, but should the Rockets surpass the Warriors, that means a lot of people missed out and just might have to eat a bunch of crow for not giving Harden and the Rockets a little more respect and just due. Every body loves an underdog story too, but this Warriors team is really fun to watch and MVP Steph Curry continues to dominate on and off the floor, alongside his daughter Riley, who stole the post-game interview session, while her dad had 34 points on 13 of 22 shooting. Other news for Houston has Guard Patrick Beverley, being ruled out at least through the Western Conference Finals, still recovering from wrist surgery after tearing a ligament in his left wrist.
Another team battling knee problems as of late is DeMarre Carroll of the Atlanta Hawks, who left game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. Carroll was helped off the court and left the locker room after the game on crutches. So, to say Carroll is playing in game 2, is anything but questionable at this point. The Hawks trail the Cavaliers after losing game 1 by a final of 97-89.
And that brings me to me the last team that has another player dealing with yet another left knee issue and that’s Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers. Not only does Irving have tendinitis in his left knee, but an issue with his left wrist, which is keeping Irving from playing not even close to a 100% capability. But again, with a banged up Irving, Iman Shumpert sporting groin issues and Kevin Love out for the remainder of the playoffs, a familiar face begins to rise again. His name: LeBron James. James had 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. However, it wasn’t Irving stepping up to help LeBron, because of his injuries, but instead J.R. Smith. Smith, a player who made 8 three pointers en route to Cleveland’s 8 point victory. Even Lebron can’t do it on his own and to the tune of 28 points, J.R. Smith was the answer for a Cleveland team hit by the injury bug, just like every remaining team in the playoffs.
Featured Image by: Michael