The game between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans was held in the shadow of Chris Bosh declared out for the rest of the season due to a blood clot in his lung, while Anthony Davis once again left a game with an injury, this time hurting his shoulder to give the playoff hopefuls more cause for concern.
The Pelicans won the game 105-91 despite Davis lasting just nine minutes and Ryan Anderson leaving with an injury as well, while Goran Dragic made an unimpressive debut, scoring 12 points for the Heat. But the news of Bosh take over the realm of immediate concern, both in terms of his health but also on the prospects of the Miami Heat to succeed in these playoffs and maybe even in the years to come after making such an aggressive move to make something of this season.
In terms of long term health, Bosh should be fine. The treatment that usually includes blood thinners takes about three months to complete, which means Bosh should be able to play basketball in four months. Even if the Heat by some sort of miracle make the NBA finals, Bosh isn’t going to be a part of that, but let’s be honest – the Heat, without him and yes, with Dragic, are a playoff team destined for a first round exit at best. Maybe a first round upset. But nothing more.
But while the Heat are probably going to make the playoffs even without Bosh, because a backcourt with Wade and Dragic is quite a boost and should be enough to carry this team in the final tough stretch of the season, the Pelicans have more reasons to be concerned about if Davis is going to keep picking up these injuries. It might not be something too serious, and maybe the Pelicans actually pulled through this time, but they’re not going to make the playoffs with Davis getting hurt so easily.
The NBA works in funny ways. The Heat decided to make Bosh their franchise player this summer after LeBron James bolted, but he has already dealt with an injury to keep him out for quite some time and will now miss the final two months of the season, as the Heat try to climb back up to .500 and hang on to the 8th spot in the East with quite a few teams in position to depose them of their slot, and maybe now are more vulnerable than before.
The Pelicans are getting what some are considering as an MVP-like season from Davis, but it’s not enough to carry them past the 9th-10th spots in the West, especially now with the Oklahoma City Thunder finally finding a winning streak to take them into playoff territory. The race for the postseason isn’t over in the West, far from it, but without Davis on for the rest of the ride full time the Pelicans don’t have any hope of making it. The Heat, despite suffering a greater loss, have the good fortune of being in the weaker conference.