Injuries seem to be everywhere in the NBA this season. With teams playing games more frequently with stars playing more minutes, it should have been expected. However, the Celtics may not fall on the short end of the stick for the second half of the season.
Kemba Walker missed most of the beginning of the season with injuries with his legs. But now that’s behind him and he’s back on the roster. Marcus Smart is back as well being the spark off the bench that Boston desperately needs. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are healthy (fingers cross). Tristan Thompson and Evan Fournier are both healthy but are going through health protocols. That’s more I can say for some other eastern teams.
Injuries In The East Strike Brooklyn Nets
If Kevin Durant being out since February didn’t raise an eyebrow, then last night will. In the first quarter, James Harden left the game with a hamstring strain. It took a 40 point game from Kyrie Irving against the Knicks to pull off the victory. And now with the return of KD still up in the air, it may leave some room for other teams to climb the ranks. The eastern conference is as close as it’s ever been. Although Harden is only expected to miss 10 games, if Irving gets hurt, or just doesn’t want to play, expect panic in Brooklyn. Especially with the health history of Kyrie Irving, the Celtics may capitalize.
Still Questions About Joel Embiid’s Longevity
Doc Rivers has really put Philly together well even with their big man Joel Embiid out. In the last 10 games, they went 7-3 without their star big man. And though Embiid will return, he still battles injuries throughout an entire season. Take a look back at the first round last year against the Celtics. The 76ers got swept because of an injury to Ben Simmons. Philly is a completely different team but they have two stars who battle injuries pretty frequently.
Miami Heat Has Just Been Battling Injuries All Year
Last year the Miami Heat went to the NBA Finals but lost and a big part was because of injuries. This year, injuries have held them back more than ever. Jimmy Butler has just now come back on the court and playing constantly. Goran Dragic hasn’t been reliable and sidelined most of the season. Tyler Herro has missed games as well. This second half of the season they’ve been coming on and playing good basketball. However, if history repeats itself, we may see injuries hold this very talented yet underrated team back.
Charlotte Hornets Momentum Comes To A Halt
Currently sitting at the 6th seed in the east, their run may have stopped before it began. With a fractured wrist, it looks like the rookie of the year candidate LaMelo Ball will be out. Also, veteran Gordon Hayward will be out for weeks with a sprain foot. Both players have been a huge contribution to the Hornets success and now will most likely struggle to maintain momentum.