Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Are Key Injuries Threatening to Ruin the NBA Playoffs?

NBA PlayoffIt’s an inevitable problem ingrained within competitive sports.  While we would love to always see the best athletes gather for ceremonious feats of strength, the injury bug can always take away such joys.  But injuries in the NBA this season seem to be widespread and could possibly extend a long-reaching finger into the NBA playoffs, which are set to begin this weekend.  Many of the league’s top players have battled injuries this year (some have seen their seasons end early) and these problems could eventually filter seriously into some team’s title hopes.

The problem with injuries in basketball is that each team has just a handful of superstar playmakers, that when injured, leaves the team a hopeless mess.  For instance, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the second best record in the Western Conference and have their eye fully set on a trip to the NBA Finals.  Led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, these two key men make the Thunder a joy to watch!  But for much of the season Westbrook has been missing.  Despite Durant leading the team to a strong season on his lonesome, we saw their championship hopes ruined last year when Westbrook went down.  Let’s hope he can stay in the game this time around!

Another player currently battling an injury is Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.  The number 2 star next to the legendary LeBron James, Wade’s hamstring gave out several weeks ago.  Although he has returned fit, we will need to see how well he can figure in when the playoffs get started.  Should he go down, the Heat’s hopes will fall squarely on James.  And while some fans may enjoy this stern test of his supernatural merits, there’s no doubt that the team’s quality would greatly suffer from the loss of a key player!
Earlier this season, several good players were injured, and their teams’ fortunes were ruined.  Such tragic occurrences happened Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Nate Robinson.  And looking ahead to the NBA playoffs, there are several teams nervously hoping key players return in time for the season’s biggest matches like the Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala.

Injuries have become such a crucial part to the sport that the teams involved in the NBA Finals are often the ones with the healthiest crop of key stars.  When one of your big guys goes down, so do all your hopes!
Another problem related specifically to the NBA is that the playoffs and season are so incredibly long, pushing all the players to the brink in long-lasting playoff series.  With every game played, the injury risks increase as the players fight for points and rebounds.  While right now it seems that most of the key members of playoff contenders are returning to their teams and readying for the big games ahead, there are still a lot of questions over whether they are really fit enough and if they will last throughout the tournament.  Here’s to hoping for a largely injury-free 2014 NBA playoffs where we get to see the best players compete for the ultimate prize in basketball!

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