When NBA fans and pundits began to discuss title contenders and pretenders the key element often overlooked during these debates is the hated injury bug. The injury bug has already crippled the title hopes of the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics whose point guards Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose tore their ACLs. Although each of these teams title hopes were dealt a serious blow their playoff chances were unaffected.
As the NBA enters its stretch run the injury bug has begun to rear its ugly head yet again and even the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat have felt the brunt of its harsh sting. Currently on a franchise record 16 game winning streak Heat fans all held their breath when Lebron James twisted his knee, however fans all breathed a sigh of relief when x-rays came back negative. Although no NBA team has ever been considered unbeatable James injury is reminder of how quickly fortunes can change.
Since James was fortunate enough to avoid an injury scare it appears that the franchises that poses the biggest threat to the Heat winning another NBA title were not so fortunate. The New York Knicks who are a close second in the Eastern Conference behind the Heat is currently without their All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony who twisted his knee two nights ago in a freak accident against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the Knicks won the game their chances of securing home court throughout the playoffs were dealt a serious blow with the Indiana Pacers a game and a 1/2 behind them.
However, the Pacers also a star to injury, Danny Granger who is out yet again for an indefinite period of time due his surgically reconstructed knee swelling up after playing extended minutes against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs who have the best record in the NBA lost All-NBA point guard Tony Parker for a month due to a sprained ankle. Although the Spurs record will lead one to believe that they won’t miss a beat in Parker’s absence their title hope rest on the ankle of the diminutive French point guard who was playing at an elite level.
As the NBA Playoffs grows near the title hopes of the Spurs, Knicks, Heat, and Pacers can all change due to an errand pass or a wet floor. Despite injury scares by their franchise players each of these teams have continued to persevere even when their stars were not 100 percent. So the next time you discuss title contenders, do what bookies in Vegas do, check the injury report and hope that your favorite team makes it through a meaningless regular season game unscathed. Stay tuned… I know I will. – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)
NBA Game of the week <Pacers vs. Heat, March 10th>
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 EST & Sat 1030 EST