The Injury Bug Is Spreading
During every NBA season injuries alter a teams win total or playoff chances. Injuries are a part of the game and teams make due with them with the personal they have until they comeback healthy. This year Milwaukie had to deal with no Kris Middleton (The Bucks second best player) who is out with a torn hamstring until March or even possibly the season. Milwaukie made two trades before the season that has worked out very well by trading for Tony Snell and Michael Beasley. Both players have helped boost the Bucks to a 9-8 record to start the season. Let’s go around the league and discuss some key injuries and how they’re impacting their respective teams.
Paul George Indiana Pacers:
All-Star Paul George has missed 6 out of the last 7 games with an ankle injury. George gives this team an identity and is the engine that makes it all go. When he misses time it throws off the rotation forcing Head Coach Nate Mcmillan to start Glen Robinson III and award the corpse of Aaron Brooks more minutes then he should ever receive. Watching the Pacers in person in Portland on Wednesday was a disgrace of anything resembling defense. They were repeatedly torched on perimeter and the interior, with no sign of fight to knock the Blazers off balance and prevent their main scorers get to the spots on the floor where they are money from. The result, Blazers scored 73 points in the first half and cruised to a 131-109 win. The playoffs could be lost after starting the season with #4 seed in the East expectations. If this happens uncertainty will settle in weather George will re-sign for long term or not in the offseason.
D’Angelo Russell & Nick Young Los Angeles Lakers:
It’s very rare any season to utter the words “The Lakers miss Nick Young” or “Nick Young is a key contributor to the Lakers”. Believe it or not, the Lakers will actually miss him in the starting lineup Young out 2-4 weeks with a strained calf muscle. Starting point guard D’ Angelo Russell has missed the last 8 games with a sore knee and should be back sometime next week. This is a welcome site to the most surprising team in the league that needs their best player back. Head Coach Luke Walton regrettably has to look to Jose Calderon and Mario Huertas to fill the void at point guard until Russell’s return. The combination of overpaid and washed up (Calderon) and “How is this guy even an NBA player” (Huertas) causing fans at arenas across the country to relay on Google to figure out who he is has really hurt this team. At least Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson can fill in while Young is out so not all is lost in Laker land.
Mike Conley & Chandler Parsons Memphis Grizzlies:
It’s another season where the Grizzlies are so banged up that 39 year old Vince Carter has to contribute more than he should have to. This week Memphis found out there best player Mike Conley will be out 6-8 weeks with a back injury. Grizzlies fans can exhale knowing it’s not a season ending injury or worse a career altering injury. Conley’s playmaking and leadership will be missed severely and now Head Coach David Fizdale will have to turn to rookie Andrew Harrison for a bigger role. Harrison has delivered by playing 24 minutes or more in his last eleven games with three turnovers or less in each contest. Chandler Parsons was signed in the offseason as a future investment. With Chandler not fully healed from the two knee surgeries he had while playing in Dallas. Chandler will be re- evaluated next week to see how his progress is going and a timetable to return and give a much needed boost to an injury ravaged team. While Parsons and Conley are out Fizdale will turn to players like Troy Daniels, Wade Baldwin & Troy Williams to makeup the minutes and hopefully Fizdale’s sanity. This will be interesting to see if Memphis can withhold a good enough record until these key players comeback