The Dreaded Injury Bug Thrives in Today's NBA
Usually when I become infected, I make the necessary albeit responsible phone call to my direct superior.
Within the context of the NBA, the number of those calls are telling evidence that there's an epidemic in progress.
NBA studs, All-Stars, future All-Stars, and vital supporting cast members are -- and have been -- dropping like flies.
Is there something in the water?
Is it the rigorous 82-game schedule?
What's the answer?
Well, we do know this: Now, more than ever, it's imperative that the next player in line needs to be prepared for that moment.
Matthew Dellavedova would be a case in point. Sure, he's an agitator and probably makes more headlines for his aggressive, albeit borderline, reckless play. He somehow managed to knock Kyle Korver out of the playoffs and one-upped that performance by irritating Al Horford enough to get him ejected in Game 3.
Let's talk about Australian rules football now. Comparatively speaking, Dellavedova probably figured Horford was giving him a love tap.
Regardless, the feisty Aussie filled the slot for Cleveland with Kyrie Irving out and, so far, has done an outstanding job. He's running the offense, knocking down open threes, and playing tough defense. What else can you ask of him?
Kevin Love is done for season, and Tristan Thompson has stepped in, all of a sudden turning into Dennis Rodman. He could be playing for a max contract next year, but his hustle and aggression on the boards now is vital when Love's glass-swiping capabilities are on the sidelines.
Houston lost two of their stud players, Patrick Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas.
Beverley's defensive prowess is missed, but Jason Terry -- who's no scrub when it comes to the playoffs -- has filled in quite nicely and gives the Rockets another lethal three-point shooter.
With Motijunas, the Rockets had another athletic big man who could shoot from outside, but a revitalized Josh Smith and Terrance Jones have both produced more than what has been asked of them. They're both better rebounders, and Motijunas, although exceptional, hasn't been missed.
As I mentioned before, the Hawks hemorrahaged internally. Kyle Korver was done early and Thabo Sefolosha's defensive presence was missed. Kent Bazemore stepped in for Korver, but it was an obvious downgrade and part of the reason the Hawks are now done like dinner.
Healthwise, Golden State seems to be the only team living in it, although Stephen Curry's nasty tumble could've been a lot worse.
I don't recall this many players being plagued by injuries before, but then again, we as sports fans have short-term memories.
Is it purely luck? Are some teams more destined than others?
All we know is that if we, as fans, have bought into the NBA's long-successful stars über teams marketing focus, then we aren't getting the product we pay for. The league must somehow keep these players healthy and in front of the paying public.
Can you imagine a playoff scenario without All-Stars like Harden, Curry, or Lebron?
Sounds terrifying. Like Friday the 13th, kind of scary.