The regular season hasn’t even started and a number of teams in the NBA have already been bitten by the injury bug. There appears to be an NBA Injury epidemic as a slew of key injuries have already rocked a number of franchises and we are still early in training camp. Several NBA superstars are on the mend right now, and other teams have seen core players hurt as well. It’s time to break down some of the biggest injuries to date, and how it will affect these players’ teams.
Probably the best player to suffer a significant injury, last year’s NBA MVP is out with a fractured foot. Durant’s injury will not make or break Oklahoma City’s season, but it does bring plenty of questions. Already known as a team with little depth, the Thunder will have to try to thrive offensively without the best scorer in the NBA. While there is another accomplished scorer on the team who is more than capable of putting up points in Russell Westbrook, it will be hard to replace a player like Durant. His absence will show us what Westbrook and the Thunder are made of, and what frightens many is that it might not be much.
A lot has already been said about George’s injury, and combined with the exit of Lance Stephenson there will be plenty of buzz and scrutiny in Indianapolis. Unlike the Thunder, the Pacers have worked tirelessly the past few seasons to make sure they have depth at every position, and while another player like George isn’t on their roster, they still have the size inside to be able to compete in the east. This injury could elevate players like Chris Copeland and Rodney Stuckey into the rotation, and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
Rondo, who has already been the subject of much trade speculation, now has to deal with the press surrounding his recent surgery on his left hand. While there are plenty of rumors as to how Rondo got injured, Danny Ainge is doing his best to squash the rumor that Rondo is going anywhere but Boston. On such a young team, a seasoned player like Rondo would certainly help; Marcus Smart and Phil Pressey will definitely get their reps in now. For the time being, he can only hope that by the time he returns the Celtics aren’t already in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
Coming off one of their best season’s in recent memory, the Wizards received a blow when they got word that Beal would be out for 6-8 weeks with a broken left wrist. A reliable scorer and half of one of the best back-courts in the Eastern Conference, Beal’s 17 points, four rebounds and three assists will be missed. What will be the most difficult for Washington though is to replace the 35 minutes per game Beal averaged. Much like the injury to Paul George, Beal’s absence could provide valuable reps for players at the end of the bench, such as Otto Porter and Glen Rice, Jr. It also means that the role for Paul Pierce will much bigger than anticipated, and Pierce will certainly have to shoulder some of the scoring role until Beal returns.
For the latest in sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
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