While we certainly hope for the best, following this gruesome looking injury that Giannis suffered, the worst fears are that Antetokounmpo might be the latest on the long list of injured superstars that either couldn’t even suit up for the playoffs, or played far below their capacity.
Going through the entire list, you understand just how cursed this postseason has been.
What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
It all started back in April, 18 games before the playoffs even began.
Jamal Murray drives against Golden State defense, but as he tries to take off for the layup, the immediate reaction and subsequent tumble to the ground. A non contact injury which we later found out was a torn ACL. This would end the season for him and the Nuggets in a way as they realized that their championship hopes are gone.
Although Denver was able to actually win a series against the Blazers, through great unselfish play- which is of course a signature style for this team, the Phoenix Suns were too much for them in the second round resulting in a 4-0 sweep.
Meanwhile, during that same timeframe in April, the Boston Celtics were looking into every possible option and scenario to handle the wrist injury of their star player Jaylen Brown.
He actually appeared in some games and tried to see how he would feel. But eventually, it became apparent that the torn ligament in the wrist needed surgery and Brown was shut down just days before the playoffs.
There was 1 player who actually played great in the postseason despite missing the first game, and still feeling the after effects of an injury from earlier in the season. And that is Donovan Mitchell. After previously spraining his ankle, Mitchell missed 18 games which included game 1 against the Grizzlies. He then exploded in the playoffs and even brought the Jazz up 2-0 against the Clippers. But in game 3 he re-aggravated that same injury and although he continued to put up big numbers, the efficiency was way down, and you could see him being limited with his movement on the court and the overall play. Utah would ultimately lose that series following 4 straight losses from that moment.
Another reason for the loss however was the fact that the Jazz were missing another big time player in Mike Conley for the majority of that second round series. Conley injured his hamstring against Memphis and would sit out all the way until game 6 of the second round which turned out to be the last one of the season for him and his team.
And let’s remind ourselves of a star studded injury riddled matchup of the playoffs.
In game 1 of the Suns vs Lakers showdown, we saw Chris Paul go down in pain with a shoulder injury early in the game. He wouldn’t be the same for the rest of the series but fortunately, younger guys like Cameron Payne stepped up and filled in the playmaking role.
Of course all credit has to be given to Phoenix for the way they’ve played throughout these playoffs, however, we have to mention the struggles for the Lakers since that’s the topic of this video.
Lebron James did not look 100% in that entire series as he was dealing with an ankle injury, missing 26 of the last 30 games of the regular season. And you could see that at times James was lacking the acceleration and the lift that we are used to seeing with him.
Also in game 4 the other piece of that 1-2 punch went down with a groin injury. Anthony Davis missed the entire game 5, and tried to give it a go in what would end up being a deciding sixth game of the series, but right away it was evident that he couldn’t continue, and essentially helped seal the faith of the Lakers.
Around that same time, another big man took a nasty fall in game 4 of the first round, and missed the next game as a result. Joel Embiid has been dealing with injuries throughout his entire career of course, and besides the Wizards matchup, he was in a lot of discomfort against Atlanta as well.
Hopefully the extra time that he gets following the game 7 loss to the Hawks, will give him enough time to fully recover for next season.
Yet another high profile case was of course the Brooklyn Nets team. James Harden initially pulled a hammy back in March, and recovered all the way until the last 2 games of the season. His solid performance in the first round made everyone forget about the time he was out. But as we all saw, in the very first few seconds of game 1 against the Bucks, Harden re-injured that same hamstring and although gave us a few heroic outings just by being on the floor, you could clearly see that this is far from the James Harden we know.
To make matters even worse, his buddy Kyrie Irving went down as well in game 4 after landing on Antetokounmpo and twisting the ankle. He would miss the rest of that series and the heroics of KD weren’t enough to save the Nets as they lost in that epic game 7 in overtime.
And even in the conference finals, there are still injuries having an enormous impact on the rosters
30 Ιούν 2021