This NBA playoffs have been littered with injuries, and they’re not just minor ones. These injuries are, or could be, career ending injuries that top players have endured.
Last year’s playoffs did not see the amount of injuries, severe or not, that we are seeing this year. Some analysts are questioning the shortened season that combated the late start to the season, in December, due to the lock out. The back-to-back games with little time to rest could be the reason why we are seeing players suffering from major injuries, not only in the playoffs, but throughout the rest of the season as well.
During the playoffs alone we’ve seen Derrick Rose go out with a torn ACL, which means last years MVP will be out for up to 10 months. During the same day we saw Iman Shumpert go out for an ACL injury as well, so the struggling Knicks lost a second guard for the remainder of the season.
The Knicks are hoping that Jeremy Lin will be ready to play in Game 5, but they risk him injuring himself even further with the increased intensity that these games are bringing.
Later in the first round, we have now seen Joakim Noah sprain his ankle, and insists he’s day-to-day, but when you watch the replays, Noah is likely to be out for at least a few more games. If he does attempt to play, his minutes should be very limited to prevent further aggravation to the ankle.
Then in Game 4 as the Miami Heat were expecting to sweep away the New York Knicks, the Knicks lose their third point guard, Baron Davis, as he’s stretchered off the court with a dislocated right patella, and will be out for at least a couple of months.
The 2011-2012 season was already shortened to 66 games from its normal 82 to help with the limited time in the rest of the season. However, without having a proper off season for teams to practice, the back to back-to-back games, and increased travel, in some cases, has proven to be a strain on the players bodies. Without the proper rest that explosive players need, many of the top flight players within the league have been out, at some point or another, this year.
Rose, a player who missed only about five games in his career prior to this season, has been out 27 games in the regular season due to injury, and is now out for almost a whole season with a torn ACL. Doug Collins, coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, commented on Rose’s injury in an interview, stating “that thing [a torn ACL], took my career.”
Collins was injured during the 1978-79 season with the 76ers, and then missed a year recovering from his knee injury. He only played 12 games the next season before deciding to end his career. It was Collins who was the first on the court after Rose planted his feet from a jump and fell to the ground with no contact. Collins knew immediately what had happened and said in an interview that he “felt sick.”
It seems like our stars of the game need an extended off season to be able to recuperate from the strenuous season they just played. Hopefully with all the advancements in medicine, players like Rose, will be able to make a full recovery and have many years ahead of them in their NBA careers.