With Chris Bosh out indefinitely, the Miami Heat’s chances of winning the NBA title or even making it out of the East or their current series have taken a serious blow. But Bosh is just the last name in a long list of players who went down to season ending injuries in the shortened and condensed year, which hasn’t been friendly to players’ health.
The New York Knicks, who lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs had their share of injuries to contend with this season. The biggest revelation since the invention of the wheel, Jeremy Lin, didn’t even play a game in the postseason. He hasn’t played since March 24, but will be ready for next season.
The Knicks’ injury woes didn’t end there – Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in Game 1 against the Miami Heat, taking him out of the series. Baron Davis was next to go, tearing his ACL and MCL; He might not be fit to play next season. Not even mentioning Amare deciding to punch glass, which left him out of one game.
One of the most exciting additions to the NBA this season was Ricky Rubio, arriving to Minnesota two years after they picked him in the NBA draft. Rubio was sensational from the start, averaging 10.6 points and 8.2 assists while helping the Timberwolves turn into a playoff caliber team before tearing his ACL, coming after a collision with Kobe Bryant. The Timberwolves kept losing after he was out.
A month earlier it was Chancey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers who tore his Achilles and went down for the season after averaging 15 points per game through the first 20 contests of the season. The Clippers still made the playoffs; even the Conference Semi Final. But if Billups was there for the entire ride, who knows how high they would have finished.
The Bulls had problems with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng injuries all season, which didn’t stop them from winning the best record in the NBA. Game 1, coasting against Philly, and doom struck. Derrick Rose tore his ACL, and all the hopes and dreams of a title run ended at the very spot. Rose might not be ready to start next season according to early assessments.
There’s also Dwight Howard, but that was a more complicated situation than just his injury. His relationship with Stan Van Gundy turned sour and worse. Howard wasn’t there for the playoff loss to the Pacers, although with the way he and the team were playing late in the season, it wouldn’t have done any good.
Is it the condensed season that caused all the injuries? Some, yes. But tearing ACL’s and such doesn’t have to do with the high volumes of playing time; not necessarily. Sometimes S&^% happens. It did seem to happen quite a lot this year, alarmingly so.